Category Archives: Justification by Faith

Outline of Galatians

The following are my notes of Ed Gravely’s lecture on Galatians at SEBTS.

Basic Outline of Galatians

I. Rebuke of the False Gospel
Ch. 1-2 – Autobiography and defense of apostleship
Ch. 3-4 – Theological defense of justification by faith

II. Appeal to pursue life in the Spirit
Ch. 5-6 – Practical results of justification by faith

Chapter By Chapter Outline of Galatians

Ch. 1 – Opening: Introducing the letter and the problem.

Ch. 1-2 – Paul’s Gospel and Testimony

Ch. 3 – No justification by works

Ch. 4 – The purpose of the law and the “illustration.”

Ch. 5 – Walk in the Spirit, the fruits of the Spirit

Ch. 6 – Fulfill the Law of Christ.

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Filed under Book Summaries, Galatians, Justification by Faith, Lectures, Scripture, SEBTS

Is Your Prayer Life Lacking?

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God”

Notice that we have peace with God and not the peace of God. What is the difference?

Peace with God is objective. It means there is no hostility between God and us. The peace of God is subjective. It is the feeling of peacefulness that may ebb and flow.

Think about it like peace between 2 nations that are at peace with each other. The peace countryside of at the top of quiet mountain is the feeling “the peace of” that country, but the lack of war between 2 nations is peace with each other.

What it means to have peace “with” God is that He is no longer hostile towards us.

Do you see how Romans 5:1, the first verse of the second main section, answers Roman 1:18, the first verse of the first main section?

Peace with God is the opposite of being under the wrath of God. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ than this means God is not angry with you and has already been poured out on Jesus. There is no wrath against you.

You must believe that God is not and never will be angry with you. Otherwise you will not be able to receive the next blessing in Romans 5:2. “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Access is only used 2 other times in the NT and both times it is by Paul in Ephesians and both times it has to do with prayer.

Is Your Prayer Life Lacking?

It is hard to pray if you think God is angry with you. If you think God is angry with you when you sin, then you will not go to him in prayer nearly as often as you would if you knew that he was not angry with you.

If you do not have much of a prayer life, the problem might be because you do not understand justification by faith alone. There are a lot of devotional writings that make us feel guilty about our prayerlessness and they are not helping you. Continue reading

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Filed under Justification by Faith, Prayer, Romans, Sanctification, Sermons, The Gospel

Are We Too Obsessed With Our Sanctification?

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith.”

This phrase sums up Romans 1-4. We are justified by faith alone apart from works of the law.

If justification were by works, then no one would be justified. For no one has done good works that meet God’s standard. All are guilty of idolatry, all are unrighteous, all suppress the truth, all are worthy of the outpouring of God’s wrath etc… If there were not a way to be justified by faith, then no one would be justified.

Justification by is by faith alone because it gives all glory to God. Faith simply receives God’s grace and therefore excludes all boasting (Romans 3:27).

Paul Turns A Corner

In chapter 5, Paul turns a corner in this great letter to the Romans. He is no longer arguing for the doctrine of justification by faith, but unpacking the glorious results of this truth.

To say that this is major turning point in Romans is contrary to many commentaries or outlines that you will come across when studying Romans. Most outlines that you will find on the book of Romans look like this: Continue reading

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Luther’s Understanding of Christian Freedom

Martin Luther believed God’s word taught that men are justified freely from the demand of the law only by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. This is, of course, in contrast to being justified by works of the law. Those who are trying to justify themselves by the law are not at all free, but in bondage to the law. Luther rightly understands the biblical teaching of justification by faith alone and how this doctrine completely frees a Christian in order to do good works both for God and for their neighbor.

Only until we have freely received the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ will we ever be able to please God with any of our works. Any man who does not have faith in Christ will not do a single work for God or their neighbor to the glory of Christ. All non-Christian works are attempts to justify themselves before God and is ultimately self-serving. This is what Paul teaches in Romans 14:23 that “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”

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Filed under Justification by Faith, Law and Gospel, Sanctification, The Gospel