The Bible Speaks

26. Righteousness by Faith in Jesus

If Adam had not sinned, it would have been possible for him to form a righteous character simply by obeying God's Law. Because he failed to obey God, Adam developed a sinful nature, Consequently, all humanity has inherited the tendency toward evil in that we are descended from Adam, and are therefore subject to death. The good new is, Jesus has made a way of escape for us. Where Adam failed, Jesus was victorious!

01. Before beginning this lesson there are some terms that need to be Biblically defined:
Genesis 15:6
And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith.
Deuteronomy 6:25
For we will be counted as righteous when we obey all the commands the Lord our God has given us.
Matthew 23:28
Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Hebrews 11:1
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Romans 4:5
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, (NKJV)
James 1:6
But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

Acts 15:11
We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.
Romans 5:15
But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.
Romans 12:6
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.

Romans 4:25
He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God ["Justified" NKJV].

Romans 5:16​
And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God ["Justified" NKJV], even though we are guilty of many sins.
Romans 5:18
Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God ["Justified" NKJV] and new life for everyone.

Ezekiel 48:11
It shall be for the priests of the sons of Zadok, who are sanctified, who have kept My charge, who did not go astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray. [NKJV]
John 17:17
Make them holy ["Sanctified" NKJV] by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.

1 Corinthians 6:11
Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy ["Sanctified" NKJV]; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

02. A common belief in the world today is that we can be saved by our own righteous works. What does the Bible say regarding how we are saved?
Galatians 2:16
Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.

03. How does the Bible tell us that the old testament prophet Abraham was accounted righteous?
Romans 4:3,5
3 For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”
5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.

04. What does the Bible say about how are we in this day can be found righteous before God?
Romans 4:22-25
22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him [credited him] as righteous.
23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded
24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

05. How does this work? How can God just cover our sin by believing in Him?
Romans 5:8-10
8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.
10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.

06. So the blood of Christ covers our sin. Does this mean that by believing, we are justified before God?
Romans 3:24-26
24 Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,
26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

07. Once we receive our free gift of justification and begin the process of sanctification, what will be our experience with God?
Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

08. If Jesus has done it all and we are saved only by faith in him, then we don't need to do anything more, right?
James 2:20
How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

09. What is this "good deeds" responsibility that must be fulfilled on our part?
Romans 12:2, 6:19
12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Spiritual Commitment)
6:19 Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy. (Physical Commitment)
Note 1
Remembering that the physical and spiritual commitment made by the believer in Jesus Christ does not save us. Our salvation only comes through Jesus' righteousness given to us as a free gift. We attempt to affect spiritual and physical commitment to Jesus not to BE saved, but because we ARE saved. Our efforts to think sanctified thoughts and do sanctified deeds are empowered by the Holy Spirit, and are as a result of the love and salvation we have already experienced in Jesus.

10. What kind of ongoing perseverance needs to be evident on our part?
2 Peter 3:18, Philippians 3:13-14
3:18 Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.
3:13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
3:14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

11. When will we know that we have achieved full Justification and Sanctification?
1 John 1:8
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.

12. Does Jesus give us any help with our "good deeds" responsibilities?
John 14:16-17
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.
He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

13. What promises does Jesus give us that He will help us through the process of carrying out of what He has asked us to do?
2 Thessalonians 2:13, 1 Timothy 6:12
2:13 As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth.
6:12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.

Concluding Question:
Because Jesus has provided your salvation for you at the cost of His own life, and all you need to do is believe in Him, wouldn't you like to accept Him as your personal savior right now, today?