Read: Romans 8:31-39
Justification is a great work of God in Jesus Christ, and is a blessing that forms the basis for all the other blessings of salvation. If we are not justified before God, we do not have a right or claim to any of the blessings of salvation, for we are then sinners, worthy only of hell.
But if God justifies us, then we have the rightful claim to all the blessings of salvation, for we are found by God to be without sin.
This is a very personal confession on the part of the believer. The teacher in this classroom asks: What doth it profit thee now that thou believest all this? And the answer we give to our teacher is this: I am righteous in Christ, before God, and an heir of eternal life.
This very personal aspect of justification is underscored in the passage of Scripture assigned to us in our lesson: Rom 8:31-39. The scene is a courtroom where God is Judge and into which we are brought to be judged. We have many accusers: the devil is there to point out that we really belong to him and have no right to heaven. The world is present to bring accusations against us that we are no better than they are. And our own consciences condemn us so that we are forced by the testimony of our consciences to agree with our accusers and to admit with hanging heads: Yes, it is all true.
But then the Judge speaks. After examining all the evidence and weighing it carefully in the scales of absolute justice, the Judge pronounces us innocent: “I have not found iniquity in Jacob, neither transgression in Israel.” That is the sentence! It comes to us as a thunderbolt. God, the Judge of all the earth, who always judges rightly, finds us to be without sin and cannot find any accusations against us to be true!
At first, we are not sure we have correctly heard it. It seems too good to be true. But then, the sentence of the divine Judge sinks into our souls and we become confident that this amazing wonder is ours. And so we turn on our accusers: “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? Who is he that condemneth?”
That means that, in our lives, when the devil or the world, or even our own consciences try to sow the seeds of doubt in our minds by pointing out our sins, we are able to say: “Go away devil; get far from me, world; be still, conscience. I know that what you say is true. But I have Christ. He is mine. He bore my sins. He earned for me my innocence. He freely and graciously gives it to me. God imputes it to me for Christ’s sake. Whatever you say is a lie. I am righteous in Christ before God.”
Prof. Herman Hanko (Wife: Wilma)
Ordained: October 1955
Pastorates: Hope, Walker, MI - 1955; Doon, IA - 1963; Professor to the Protestant Reformed Seminary - 1965
Emeritus: 2001Website: www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Prof._Herman_Hanko
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