Sabbath: Justification by Faith

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Read for This Week’s Study: Rom. 3:19-28.

Memory Text: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28).

In this lesson we come to the basic theme of Romans: justification by faith-the great truth that, more than any

other truth, brought about the Protestant Reformation. And despite all the claims to the contrary, Rome has no more changed regarding this belief now than it did in 1520, when Pope Leo issued a papal bull condemning Luther and his teachings. Luther burned a copy of the bull because if there were one teaching that could never be compromised, justification by faith was and is it.

The phrase itself is a figure based on law. The transgressor of the law comes before a judge and is condemned to death for his transgressions. But a substitute appears and takes the transgressor’s crimes upon himself, thus clearing the criminal. By accepting the substitute, the criminal now stands before the judge, not only cleared of his guilt but also regarded as never having committed the crimes for which he was first brought into court. And that’s because the substitute-who has a perfect record-offers the pardoned criminal his own perfect law-keeping.

In the plan of salvation each of us is the criminal. The substitute, Jesus, has a perfect record, and He stands in the court in our stead, His righteousness accepted in place of our unrighteousness. Hence we are justified before God, not because of our works but because of Jesus, whose righteousness becomes ours when we accept it “by faith.” Talk about good news! In fact, the news can’t get any better than that.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, October 28.
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons