King's Business - 1920-03

THE K I N G ’ S BUS I NE S S the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be brought under the judg­ ment of God: Because by works of law shall no flesh be justified in his sight: For through the law cometh the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; EVEN THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST UNTO ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE; for there is no distinction; 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; whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, by his blood, to show his righteousness, because of the pass­ ing over of the sins done aforetime, in the for­ bearance of God; for the shewing, I say, of his righteousness at this present season: That he might himself be just, and THE JUSTIFIER OF HIM THAT HATH FAITH IN JESUS.” And again In the fourth chapter and the fifth verse he says, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” In his sermon at Antioch of Pisidia recorded in the thirteenth chapter of Acts, Paul says, “And by him (that is by Jesus Christ) every one that believeth is JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS.” This doctrine, that men who have been sinners and ungodly, are justified on the one and only ground of the shed ‘blood of Christ, and the one and only condition of faith in - the Lord Jesus Christ, is one o f .the most distinctive and vital points in Paul’s whole gospel. Any gospel that leaves this out, or per­ verts or obscures it in any way, is an­ other gospel from the one Paul preached, and is not entitled to be called a Christian gospel. This doctrine of justification by faith, is radically op­ posed to the popular modern doctrine of “ salvation by character.” It teaches us that we are saved not by character, but that we are saved to character, that is to say, that a holy character is not the ground on which we are saved, but is the result of our having been saved, “ being justified freely by grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” This doctrine of justification by faith also, as we see clearly in the passage which I read from Romans 3, necessar­ ily involves the universality of human sinfulness and human condemnation. It involves the utterly lost and hopeless condition of man without the atoning death of Jesus Christ. All of these modern doctrines that seek to minimize the guilt and utter ruin of man, and talk about the essential divinity of man, are utterly unchristian. The events of

256 needs to 'believe in order to be saved is the doctrine of the resurrection of the body of Jesus Christ. His words are, “ If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thine heart that God RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, thou shalt be saved.“ ’ The resurrection of Jesus Christ in­ volves everything that is essential in Christianity. If a man really believes that, sooner or later, he will come to believe everything else that is vital; but give up the actual, literal resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and everything that is essential in Christian­ ity sooner or later must go. The one great truth upon which the apostles, not only Paul but the other apostles as well, constantly rang the changes, was the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Read their ser­ mons recorded in the Acts of the Apos­ tles, and you will see that every one of them, from Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost with its marvelous results, to the last of Paul’s recorded utterances, center in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I found on my recent visit to China and Japan that some men were being sent out as mis­ sionaries or Y. M. C. A. workers who did not believe in the actual, literal resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. What amazing and stupendous, folly! If Christ did not arise from the dead our preaching is vain. Why sacri­ fice lives full of promise by sending them to China to preach a gospel out of which they have cut the very heart? Justification By Faith Y. The fifth absolutely essential doctrine of the Christian faith, is JUS­ TIFICATION BY FAITH. That is, the doctrine that we are jus­ tified before God, not on the ground of anything we ever have done or ever can do, but on the ground of what Jesus Christ did when He died an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and on the single and only condition of faith in Jesus Christ. This doctrine of justification by faith “ apart from the works of the law” is the one central topic of almost the entire Epistle to the Romans, and the entire Epistle to the Galatians. In his sermons and in his epistles we find Paul coming back to this doctrine again and again. In the third chapter of Romans is a remarkable exposition of it. Let me read you part of it (verses 19-26): “ Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it speaketh to them that are under

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