Faith is trust – God’s solution to the death penalty of all of us. Sin is the action of distrust in God, a corruption that leads us to perform acts of self annihilation and annihilation of others.
What is faith? What does God want from us? How are we justified by faith?
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
Here David outlines what God wants: for us to acknowledge our sin, wish to learn truth, except God’s desire change in our life by breaking our selfish spirit & mind turning it over to Him. The result is that we will do good for God and for others. This is the act of faith in God.
• The attitude of driving 80 mph in a school zone is the attitude of sin. It is a reckless disregard of law, disregard for God and disregard for others.
All actions of “law” or obeying rote ceremony symbolizing the correct ideas but doing them without meaning is completely useless:
Amos 5:21-24 “ I hate, I despise your feast days,
And I do not savor your sacred assemblies.
22 Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them,
Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.
23 Take away from Me the noise of your songs,
For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
24 But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.
Micah 6:6-8 With what shall I come before the LORD,
And bow myself before the High God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
With calves a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
Ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Hosea 6:5-7 Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets,
I have slain them by the words of My mouth;
And your judgments are like light that goes forth.
6 For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
7 “ But like men[a] they transgressed the covenant;
There they dealt treacherously with Me.
Isaiah 29:13 Therefore the Lord said:
“ Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths
And honor Me with their lips,
But have removed their hearts far from Me,
And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men
What is righteousness?
Merriam-Webster dictionary entry for righteousness:
Main Entry: righ•teous
Etymology: alteration of earlier rightuous, alteration of Middle English rightwise, rightwos, from Old English rihtwīs, from riht, noun, right + wīs wise
1 : acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin
2 a : morally right or justifiable b : arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality
Acting in accord to God’s law is righteousness. This is the essence of both the old and new covenant. Human laws reflect human ways of thinking. God’s laws reflect God’s way of thinking. The most important thing is to understand God’s way of thinking and do things His way.
The life of Christ demonstrated for us a way of living without law (A method of living that concern for the law has nothing to do with), but accomplishing the same thing:
Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets
• When others do us wrong, we may choose to say “I want to make things right with you.” This is exactly what God is saying to all of us.
Living the life of Christ is the new covenant, being ignorant of the life of Christ but approaching God through God’s character as expressed to His law is the old covenant. The difference in the old covenant and new covenant: same law, different location. Old covenant: Civil system of government, New covenant: personal mind of every individual
Jeremiah 31:31-33 “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
The sign of those who will keep the new covenant is that they will naturally keep the law without any enforcement or teaching:
Jeremiah 31:34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Those who say that they know what is right and try to create their own laws, anyone can follow what is right for them, fall into the same error as the Jews of Christ day and then they become slaves to their own works:
Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
How are we justified? How does justification by faith lead to righteousness?
Merriam-Webster dictionary entry for justified:
Main Entry: jus•ti•fy
Inflected Form(s): jus•ti•fied; jus•ti•fy•ing
Etymology: Middle English justifien, from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French justifier, from Late Latin justificare, from Latin justus
Date: 14th century
transitive verb 1 a : to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable b (1) : to show to have had a sufficient legal reason (2) : to qualify (oneself) as a surety by taking oath to the ownership of sufficient property
2 a archaic : to administer justice to b archaic : absolve c : to judge, regard, or treat as righteous and worthy of salvation
3 a : to space (as lines of text) so that the lines come out even at the margin b : to make even by justifying
Justified = establish trustworthiness, absolving from any doubt of wrongdoing
Romans 3:4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written:
“ That You may be justified in Your words,
And may overcome when You are judged.”
God is judged by his actions, and can judge him to be trustworthy by the consistency of his actions, just as we would judge the trustworthiness of anything on this world. We cannot be judged this way since all of us have sinned.
Romans 4:25 (Jesus) who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Christ’s resurrection is the act that justifies us according to Paul, or literally “His resurrection occurred to justify us.” This states that much more than His death, but also His life on this earth (blood) and also His resurrection along with His death are important elements needed to justify us to God.
Romans 3:25-26 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
• If we take a test at school and get questions wrong, it means we are not thinking like the instructor or person who created the test. When our thinking is aligned with the instructor and the test is easy and the test questions are automatic. In the same way God wants us to give Him permission to change our thinking so we think like Him. We then will get all the answers correct and works will follow automatically.
God was proved trustworthy over a very long period of time (demonstrate His righteousness) through the history of the earth, demonstrated how he acts towards those in rebellion toward him. When Jesus came in person the cross was the ultimate demonstration of the stark contrast between God and sin. (Propitiation by His blood)
• Authoritarian claims with a demonstration of power prove nothing concerning rightness or trustworthiness. God saying that we would die when we sin is a claim. Christ dying for our sins is a demonstration that God is truthful.
• The problem is not that God cannot heal us. He can heal us instantly but the problem is that we do not turn away from sin and choose to trust in Him.
• We are reconciled with God as we trust in Him. We change as God’s truth changes us
Those who put their faith/trust in Jesus therefore become connected to Him and share in his trustworthiness and share in his righteousness. (He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus) This connection is grace and it cost His death. We then become tied into God’s family and become part of his righteousness, now that He has established his righteousness. As long as we maintain our relationship in submission to His desires for our life, He will draw us to Him and then only His righteousness and His life matter.