Thursday, October 11, 2012

My own little thoughts on Justification

If you wander around the Lutheran blog world, you might see plenty of posts going up about Justification.  I figured I would throw my hat into the ring and just write a little bit - coming at things from a side angle.

Consider, if you will, the Lord's Prayer and its meaning, especially to the first three petitions.  These meanings read:

1.  God's name is indeed holy in itself; but we pray in this petition that it may become holy among us also.

2.   The kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayer, of itself; but we pray in this petition that it may come unto us also.

3.   The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer; but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.

This is one of the things we know and acknowledge - that God is much more powerful than us - and that we don't thwart Him.  God will be holy, with or without us.  His Kingdom will come, with or without us.  His will shall be done, with or without us.

Likewise, when Jesus went to the cross, He died for the sins of the world.  Indeed, He justified the entire world, without any aid or input from us - and this justification is for the entire world.  He defeated sin and death and Satan for EVERYONE.

As the simple, catecatical evidence for that consider the 3rd article - "in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life.

Who is raised?  Everyone.  All the dead -- why?  Because Jesus died for all.

Now, there is a distinction.  Do those who do not believe get everlasting life with Christ in His kingdom -- no.  But they were still raised.  It is not their sins which must condemn them - those sins were taken away by Christ.  No, by their disbelieve, they remove themselves from God's blessing.  God is holy - but if one doesn't believe, that holiness doesn't simply benefit you.  Christ will come - but for those without faith, that coming will not be the sheer joy that it ought to be -- indeed, the resurrection will be a resurrection unto condemnation.

What it boils down to is this:  Jesus does Jesus stuff, and He does it perfectly and completely.  Sinful man doesn't trump or undo what Jesus has done -- He has died for all, He has redeemed all.  There is not a man, woman, or child to whom we cannot say truthfully "You are forgiven for Christ's sake."  Now, will some reject this - will they rather hold onto their own ideas of justification rather than Christ's?  Sure - and to these we then say, "Well, you have retained your sin - you desire them upon you instead of upon Christ".  But that doesn't change or undo what Christ has done.  Christ has forgiven all, He has taken the sins of the world upon Himself - even if not everyone believes and rejoices in this, indeed, even if some will be in hell rather than rejoicing in this for all eternity.

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