Archive for August 17, 2009

Aug 17

B.B. Warfield on Justification by Faith

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Gospel,Quote

Warfield explains that our only hope is outside of ourselves. Our hope is not in our works, and it is also not in our faith. Our hope is in Christ alone, and that is faith!

Sometimes we are told that Justification by Faith is “out of date.” That would be a pity, if it were true. What it would mean would be that the way of salvation was closed and “no thoroughfare” nailed up over the barriers. There is no justification for sinful men except by faith. The works of a sinful man will, of course, be as sinful as he is, and nothing but condemnation can be built upon them. Where can he get works upon which he can found his hope of justification, except from Another? His hope of Justification, remember – that is, of being pronounced righteous by God. Can God pronounce him righteous except on the ground of works that are righteous? Where can a sinful man get works that are righteous? Surely, not from himself; for, he is a sinner, and all his works as sinful as he is. He must go out of himself, then, to find works which he can offer to God as righteous. And where will he find such works except in Christ? Or how will he make them his own except by faith in Christ?

Justification by Faith, we see, is not to be set in contradiction to justification by Works. It is set in contradiction only to justification by our Own Works. It is justification by Christ’s Works. The whole question, accordingly, is whether we can hope to be received into God’s favor on the ground of what we do ourselves, or only on the ground of what Christ does for us…. Justification by Faith means, that is to say, that we look to Christ and him alone for salvation, and come to God pleading Christ’s death and righteousness as the ground of our hope to be received into his favor. If Justification by Faith is out of date, that means, then, that salvation by Christ is out of date. …

Justification by Faith does not mean, then, salvation by believing instead of by doing right. It means pleading the merits of Christ before the throne of grace instead of our own merits.

In Selected Shorter Writings, vol. 1, pp. 283-84.

HT: Darryl Hart

Aug 17

Jesus, the Woman’s Advocate

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Recommended Link,Sermon Follow-Up

A couple of Sundays ago, in a message on Mary on Martha in Luke 10, I noted how one of the most remarkable things in the story — not to us today, but to its first-century readers — is the way Jesus commended Mary’s choice to sit in the living room and learn…like only a male disciple would have done. I said, that might have been no small part of Martha’s objection, in fact: her sister was acting more like a man (learning) than a women (cooking). But Jesus’ blessing of Mary’s “better” choice was a bold corrective to the first-century Jewish conceptions of gender roles. He was intent to show, not only the priority of “sitting at his feet,” but also the equal place for men and women in redemption, discipleship, worship, etc. Men and woman have different designs for the home and the church, but they do not have different degrees of access to Jesus.

John Piper recently noted the same thing from a different passage: “they marveled that He was talking to a woman” (John 4:27). Here’s the link to a seven minute video of him explaining the verse. Good stuff!