(Article for publication week of 8-8-2012 AD)
“I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?” (Job 9:2).
This week we return to the place we started when we began our series on the doctrine of justification. We began this series on March 14 of this year and we have shown that you must have a perfect record with God, that you have no righteousness of your own, and we have begun to show you the gospel of imputed righteousness. I would encourage you to visit our blogspot at matthewsevenfourteen.blogspot.com and go back and read all the articles in this series to see the progression of truth that is involved in the doctrine of justification.
There is no more serious matter for you to contemplate than the salvation of your soul, and your record before the all holy and all righteous Jehovah Who is the Judge of all the earth. The question pondered by Job in our text this week is indeed the most important question we can ask, and we had better be sure we have the Biblical answer to it. As I say in my title this week, it is the eternally important question.
You ought to be concerned about the doctrine of justification for your safety. Dear Reader, don’t you know you have a never dying soul that must live in eternity somewhere? Don’t you know you will face God on the Day of Judgment? For your eternal safety, please hear the word of the Lord! God will do one of two things with you. He will either justify you, and bring you to heaven, or He will condemn you and send you to hell. Unless God declares you “not guilty”, you’re a goner. I come to this computer every week with your eternal soul in view. I am labouring for your eternal good. Some of you do not care for your own soul, but please know that Thomas Ray Floyd does care for your soul. Unless you are justified by God you are in great danger, eternal danger. But if you are justified by God by His free and sovereign grace, you are safe eternally.
Secondly, you ought to be concerned with the doctrine of justification for your comfort. There are some of the Lord’s people who are truly saved, but not having a good understanding of how God justifies them, they are often in great distress of soul. They struggle with assurance because they do not have a clear understanding of how God imputes the righteousness of Christ to their account, and how Christ actually put away all their sins, past, present and future. The gospel is the good news of how an ungodly sinner may stand before God as if he had never sinned. Poor elect sinner who is struggling under the burden of guilt and condemnation, believe in the dear Saviour Whose righteousness is reckoned to you, and it will comfort your soul like nothing else can.
Thirdly, we ought to be concerned with the doctrine of justification for our usefulness to God. Those who rightly understand the article of faith upon which the Church stands or falls, that is, the very heart of the gospel, are the most useful to God and to His dear people. Preachers who think that the gospel is social activism are poor excuses for preachers. In fact they are generally not true preachers, but false prophets. Preachers and Sunday school teachers who just tell their hearers to be nice and polite are not giving the gospel. Religious people who do not know the gospel are a menace to society. Now let us take a short, simple test of whether we know the gospel. Suppose you were called to the bedside of a dying man who has never been to church and has lived a desperately wicked life. Now in his dying hour he becomes concerned for his soul and what can be done about his sins. It is too late for the poor wretch to amend his ways. Could you in such a case take the word of God and show this poor wretch how his sins are actually absolved, and how he can die and face God with a righteous record? If you can’t then you don’t know the gospel yourself, and you are of no use to God, or anybody, as far as anything spiritual and eternal.
If you will keep reading the Narrow Way I will (DV) keep labouring for your eternal good. Keep reading and with the help of the Lord we will learn more of the answer to Job’s great question.