Quotes by Jay Harvey
The Bible repeatedly emphasizes the legal aspects of justification. God does not make us righteous in that moment; God declares us righteous in that moment, just like a judge passes sentence on the defendant in his courtroom. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit God will over time make us more and more righteous in the way we live. This process is called sanctification. But we do not grow in sanctification in order to be justified. We grow in sanctification because we are justified. The declarative act of justification is gracious soil out of which grace-filled lives will grow.
The guarantee that we are perfectly righteous, accepted, and loved by our Father in heaven is one of our greatest encouragements in the process of sanctification. We are free to love God with all our heart because we know that His love for us is completely secure. We can live as children and not as slaves.
Because we are justified solely because of the righteousness of Christ, our role in justification is not to obey but to have faith in Christ… When we seek to justify ourselves by human effort of any kind, we undermine the sufficiency of Christ’s atoning work. Only justification by faith alone preserves the honor and glory of what Jesus did on the cross.
We constantly want to justify ourselves before God, to be good enough without Christ. But God does not want us to trust in our goodness. He does not want us to make up for our past sins through present obedience. He does not want us to think that we are good enough to go to heaven by comparing ourselves to the Hitlers and Stalins of the world. Comparisons are useless when it comes to establishing righteousness before God. God crucified His one and only Son for our justification, and He wants us to trust in Him alone. When it comes to being justified, faith plus anything else is quicksand. The only ground for right standing before God is Christ Jesus grabbed ahold of by faith.