Monday, March 27, 2006

During my devotion this morning, I gave myself 2 sets of homework. One, to find out basically what justification is all about and two, what about the concept of free grace and free justification. Ironically, it was during our usual morning conversation to school that my son brought up the subject of free things, which I had responded: is there ever anything free?

Justification, as I have pondered on 3 weeks ago, is a legal concept where a sinner is being justified or declared righteous when stand before God.

The debate on justification, that has been going on since long, is this: are we justified by faith alone (Rom 3:24) or are we justified by faith as well as in some capacity works (Jas 2:24).

I believe Jenkins provides a possible answer in his journal, "Faith and Works in Paul and James", where he asserts the view that, "Paul and James had different purposes and were using the same terms (particularly dikaiow , "to justify") with different connotations. Paul's concern was the sinner's basis for justification with God (i.e. the basis for his legal standing with God), while James's concern was to refute antinomianism by showing that one's true conversion will be "justified" objectively by works. Paul was writing of a forensic declaration of righteousness that a sinner achieves only through faith, and James was writing of a universal demonstration of righteousness that is accomplished by works. James sought to show that a person who possesses faith in Christ will be justified (i.e. vindicated as a true Christian) by his or her works, and that a mere claim to a profession of faith that is not vindicated or evidenced by works is not characteristic of genuine conversion."

Justification is therefore not free. While Paul firmly states that we are justified by faith, he continues in his affirmation that since we are dead to sin, we must be alive in Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit (Rom 6-8).

Maeghan

C.Ryan Jenkins, "Faith and Works in Paul and James," Bibliotheca sacra 159 (2002): 64
Picture by Bonnie. J

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