Justified By Faith


Elder George D. Walker (dec)


In Romans 5:1,2 we read; Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith unto this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


There seems to be two main positions that have been set forth on this text by some of our most able ministers. The main difference, is this text dealing with our position in Christ? Or is it dealing with the faith that God dealt to us through being born again and the exercising of that faith? I realize as I attempt to write on this subject that there is a justification that takes place by the exercising of our faith, but is Romans 5:1 teaching this? Notice that this verse starts out by saying: Therefore being justified by faith. If we could read this text in the Greek, it would read, having been justified by faith. There is a great difference in being just and being justified. The word justified is not what makes a person just, but it is a declaration that declares a person to be just.


In Romans 2:28,29 the apostle Paul says; for he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God. You might be wondering why I have backed up to chapter 2, dealing with circumcision. This circumcision is dealing with how a child of grace is born again, that when it pleases God, he takes away this hard and stony heart and gives us a heart of flesh.


In Romans 3:3,4 he says; for what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid, yea, let God be true, but every man a liar, as it is written, beyond that separation by natural ability, and to truly appreciate and cling to the things beyond this life, the sight of faith's eye is required.

One of the things that I did not realize growing up is how different my perspective on death and the things surrounding it was from most of my peers. Most of my peers were unfamiliar with funerals, and they did not think about death much due to their youth. As a minister's son, I went to many funerals and saw all the associated things with it such as grief, mourning, and comfort. Only after I was grown and began to understand how different my perspective was did I come to appreciate how treasured the situation of joyful hope and strong trust and belief in these things really is. Jesus strongly makes the point that there is a high premium on belief in these situations. Now, to be clear, belief is not what makes these things so. Belief never changes reality. Belief is simply an admission of what is reality. If I believe the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, my belief does not make it so. My belief is simply an admission of what is reality based on the evidence at hand. The reason death, things surrounding it, and the situation beyond it is so hard to grasp is because man does not see tangible evidence at hand to rely upon.

Friends, one of the things I prize about my growing up time is that I was surrounded at those funerals and times of natural sorrow by people that knew the truth about death and freely talked about it during those seasons. Churchgoers react to death and funerals very differently from those in the world. Even Martha in her interaction with Christ was able to cling to the idea of the resurrection while mourning the loss of her brother Lazarus. Paul encourages us in I Thessalonians 4 not to sorrow as others "which have no hope." There are people in this world that literally have no hope or expectation of anything beyond this life. Such a mindset makes us of all men most miserable. (I Corinthians 15:19) These surroundings for me in my formative years staved off many of the fears and doubts I may have enjoined about death had I not had such grounded people around me all the time. It is my intent with my young children now that they have a similar situation. When they are full grown and facing the world themselves, my desire is that they have a good grasp about death without living in though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. Now to the last verse in chapter 4; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Paul is not telling us that we were made just by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave proves that the precious blood of Christ made us just. That is, when Christ came out of the grave we were declared to be just. If we had not already been made just, Christ would not have come forth from the grave.

Therefore, being justified by faith, that is, having been justified by faith. This is dealing with the faithfulness and trustworthiness of God; this is dealing with the faithfulness and trustworthiness of Jesus Christ. That Jesus Christ fulfilled all of God's righteous laws and demands, that he went to the cross, shed his blood for the remission of sins, made this sin offering unto God the Father. God the Father accepted this offering as full payment for sin. Christ died and gave up the ghost in saying, Father; into thy hands I commend my spirit. Therefore, having been justified by faith, that is having been declared just by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh! How thankful we ought to be for the grace of a loving God and Saviour Jesus Christ that is Faithful and Trustworthy that we have been declared just.