The Gospel: Justification & Sanctification – Rooted & Built Up Lessons 5 & 6

Rooted and Built Up Series (Col. 2:7) – Lessons 5 & 6 // Holland Bible Series // Fall 2013

“Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mark 1:14-15)

The Gospel: Definition

  • “Gospel” = “Good News”
  • 1 Cor. 15:1-11
    • v. 1 – the gospel is your standing point in Christianity
    • v. 2 – the gospel brings salvation to all who believe it
    • v. 3 – Paul “received” the gospel; he did not create it
    • vv. 3-8 – the Gospel is:
      • Christ” (v. 3) – Jesus is the Christ/Messiah, fully God and fully man (Isaiah 7:14-9:7; John 8 [esp. v. 24]; 1 John 2:22-23; 4:3; etc.) 
      • died for our sins” (v. 3) – Jesus’ death paid for our sins (Isaiah 53:5-6)
      • was buried” (v. 4) – Jesus’ body was buried (Isaiah 53:9)
      • was raised on the third day” (v. 4) – Jesus was bodily resurrected after 3 days (Psalm 16:10; Matt. 12:40) 
      • in accordance with the Scriptures” (vv. 3, 4) – the only legitimate gospel is the one affirmed by Scripture

The Gospel: Justification (“IN CHRIST”)

justification – “An instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.” (Wayne Grudem’s, Systematic Theology, p. 1246, 2000)

This is only a sampling of Scriptures:

  • Romans 3:21-26 – Faith in the gospel => God passes over our sins and freely justifies us without compromising His righteous standard. 
  • Romans 4:1-8 – Abraham and David affirm: God justifies the ungodly through faith in gospel.
  • Ephesians 1:1-2:13 (see also Colossians 1:21-23) – “In Christ” — we are blessed with every spiritual blessing (1:3), holy and blameless (1:4), given grace (1:6), redeemed (1:7), raised up with Christ (2:6), seated in heavenly places (2:6), brought to God and His people (2:13)
    • Eph. 1:13 – We get “in Christ” when we believe the gospel
  • O.T. Pictures of Justification:
    • Adam and Eve reconciled to God when covered by slain life of another (Gen. 3:7, 21)
      • We are reconciled to God through the slain life of His Son (Eph. 2:13)
    • Noah and family covered in the ark: the ark absorbed God’s wrath on their behalf (Gen. 6-8)
      • Jesus absorbed the wrath of God toward sin for all covered in Him (Rom. 3:25)
    • Jacob received the father’s blessing because he was covered by the father’s favored son (Gen. 27:15-16, 21-23, 35)
      • We receive God the Father’s blessing by being covered in the life of Jesus, His “beloved Son” (Matt. 3:17). 
    • Passover: When midnight judgment came, life was inherited ONLY by houses covered by the blood of the slain lamb (Exod. 11-12)
      • At the final judgment (Matt. 25:6), only those covered by Christ’s blood will receive life (John 3:16-18)
    • Day of Atonement (Lev. 16; 23:26-32; Numbers 28:7-11): The work of the High Priest covered the sins of all the people; the people were commanded to afflict their souls (Lev. 23:29), and rest (Lev. 16:29, 31; 23:28, 30-32; Num. 29:7)
      • “Atonement” = “to cover” (same root word as the pitch covering the ark)
      • High Priest = Jesus (Heb. 3:1)
      • Afflict souls = repent
      • Rest = faith in Christ’s finished work (see John 6:29; Heb. 3-4)

The Gospel: Sanctification (“CHRIST IN YOU”)

sanctification – “the simple, literal meaning of sanctification is ‘making saintly,’ or ‘making holy.’” (Derek Prince’s, Spirit-Filled Believer’s Handbook, p. 80, 1993)

This is only a sampling of Scripture:

  • Hebrews 10:14
    • “perfected forever” = justification
    • “those who are being sanctified” = sanctification
    • The evidence you are perfected forever is that your life is changing and conforming more to Christ.
  • Ephesians 1:13-14 – The evidence that we are saved and justified is the Holy Spirit’s life within us.
  • Galatians 5:22-24
    • The fruit of the Spirit will grow in all who are justified.
    • Compare John 5:24 with 1 John 3:14
      • Only two places “passed from death into life” is found in Bible
      • John 5:24 – shows how to pass from death into life: faith
      • 1 John 3:14 – shows the evidence: love, especially toward Christians
        • Matt. 25:31-46 – this is not a checklist of how you inherit eternity, but a picture of “loving the brethren” (1 John 3:14).  Notice that this love came so effortlessly and supernaturally in them that the “sheep” did not even realize they were doing these things (Matt. 25:37-40). 
  • Galatians 5:6; James 2:14-26
    • True, living faith will always produce something
  • O.T. Pictures of Sanctification:
    • Passover: in addition to the unblemished lamb’s blood covering the houses, the life of that same lamb was eaten and received by the Israelites, giving them energy to physically depart from their oppressors (Exod. 12:8-11, 51)
    • Unleavened Bread: After the Passover feast, the people were to rest and keep leaven out of their house (Exod. 12:15-20; Lev. 23:5-8).
      • Leaven represents sin (1 Cor. 5:8)
      • Rest = faith in Christ; sanctification is a work of God in us (1 Cor. 15:10)
    • Ark: After God’s wrath subsided and the flood ended, the new world began from a dove within the ark (Gen. 8:11)
      • Dove = image of Holy Spirit (Luke 3:22)
      • New world beginning = image of new life that happens as a result of the Spirit living within you (2 Corinthians 5:17)
    • 1 Chron. 15 – priests returning ark; justification, then sanctification

The Practical: What do We do in this Process?

  • 1 Cor. 15:10; Galatians 3:1-5; Philippians 2:12-13; Hebrews 4:11 – rest/trust in God to do the work in you.
  • 1 Cor. 3:6b – God alone “causes the increase” of life within you
    • However, we can do things to nourish that life (1 Cor. 3:6a), and impede that life (Prov. 24:30-34; Mark 4:5) 
  • Acts 2:42 – Three-legged stool: (1) Study the Scriptures, (2) Fellowship (especially over meals and communion), (3) Pray
    • This provided a base for God to produce: signs, wonders, respect, love, sharing, praise, and conversions to Christ (Acts 2:43-47) 
  • 1 Thes. 1:5 – the gospel spreads to others through: (1) our words, (2) the power of the Spirit, (3) a changed life
    • These things will happen as we study the Scriptures, pray, and submit to God as He leads us by His Spirit and Word
  • O.T. Picture of the Church’s Work:
    • Eve, as Adam’s “helper” (Gen. 2:18), while still the “weaker vessel,” (1 Pet. 3:7), had the job of helping him spread his life (“be fruitful and multiply” – Gen. 1:28), and helping him reign over the earth (“subdue it” – Gen. 1:28).  She was made 100% out of the life of Adam (Gen. 2:18:25), yet still had to submit this life to Adam and cooperate with him.
      • Similarly, as the bride of Christ, we are His helper, though being the “weaker vessel”.  Our new life comes from His life in us, yet we must still choose to cooperate with His Spirit in us, and use this new life to serve Christ and work as His “helper” to spread His life and bring His kingdom/authority over the earth.

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