...by Chris Tiegreen...But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
The gospel takes a lifetime to really understand. Perhaps we will always be exploring its depths and never finding its boundaries. Though we try to rest in the salvation God has offered to us, it still hasn't completely sunk in. We try to earn it, if not by legalism then by proving the earnestness of our faith.How do we compromise the purity of the gospel? Every time we look at ourselves to see if our salvation is genuine, we have compromised it. When we asked whether we've done enough good works, we've made salvation something to achieve. When we ask whether we believe strongly or purely enough, we've made salvation a matter of our own resolve. Either approach will give a deep sense of anxiety; they both base salvation on the fickle heart of a human being.What does it mean that God is both just and the One who justifies? It means that the same One who demands holiness accomplishes it for us. The same One who orders a sacrifice of blood provides the sacrifice of blood. He requires of us perfection; in Jesus, He offers His own perfection in our stead.The remedy for our salvation-anxiety, whenever it creeps back in, is to fix our eyes on Jesus. Don't look within at the quality of your faith, and don't look at the abundance of your works. Look at Jesus. Count on what He has done. Rest in His work. Know that He has satisfied God fully - for you.
Justification takes place in the mind of God and not in the nervous system of the believer...
~ C. I. Schofield ~