The Church of God (7th Day)
Did Jesus institute an
Justification is the judicial act of the Lord to declare a sinner free from guilt or free from the condemnation of sin. It takes faith to bring about the working of Christ's justifying righteousness. The justified person does not come into judgement. There is a popular belief in the world today that when we die, we will be judged at the gates of heaven to see if our deeds were worthy of entrance to heaven. We read in Romans that man is not justified through his works.
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: [Romans 3:20] (first part)
If we are not judged by the works of the law (i.e. the Ten Commandments), why are they important?
for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [Romans 3:20] (last part)
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? [Romans 6:1-2]
We are only saved through God's grace and the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not through our actions but by God's gift that we are saved. We are saved by having our past sins forgiven and this can only be done through Christ. We can not have our past sins forgiven by doing good works in the future. This does not mean that we should continue to sin. After a person has been baptized, he should strive to not sin any more.
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. [Romans 6:3-6]
Christ is not an investigator who judges our sins; but rather a mediator between mankind and God, pleading our case that we should have our sins forgiven and thus be saved.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; [1 Timothy 2:5]
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. [Hebrews 9:15]
There is no such thing spoken of in the Bible as an investigative judgement in heaven where our good and bad deeds are judged and a determination made whether we are good or bad. What is important is that we repent our sins, become baptized in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and have the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Spirit. Repentance does not mean just being sorry for our past sins, but being resolute to change our lives and striving to sin no more. While there is no investigative judgement in heaven, we are instructed to examine ourselves. When we judge ourselves it is not to chastise ourselves for past behavior, but rather looking at ourselves to see that we have changed and will strive to sin no more.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? [2 Corinthians 13:5]
Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. [2 Corinthians 13:7]
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. [1 Corinthians 11:28]
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. [1 Corinthians 11:31]
Key Verse: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.