|dc.description.abstract||Our Old Testament studies in the doctrine of justification lead to the conclusion that
believers were justified under the Law, not by obedience to the Law, but by fleeing
from the threats of the Law to the refuge of faith in the Promise given to Abraham.
This is how they became children of Abraham and heirs with him of the same
The Old Testament offerings pointed to the expiation of sins through the shedding of
blood and to the appeasing of God's wrath indicated by the symbolism of the smoke
ascending thus indicating a pleasing sacrifice to God. In the Prophets, the Servant
(Isaiah 53) is described as the Righteous One who justifies many. The righteousness
that Abraham received through faith in the promise, Isaiah now indicates that this
same righteousness is provided by the Servant of the Lord. This shows the progressive
nature of the revelation regarding justification. In Jeremiah 23, we see the transfer of
righteousness. The Messiah is described as being righteous or establishing
righteousness and he becomes "our righteousness." This is expressed in older
Protestant theology by the phrase "the imputation of Christ's righteousness". We
conclude that believers are counted righteous before God because he permits them to
share Christ's status of acceptance before him.
In the Psalms we find emphasis on substitution and atonement, and the revelations of
a suffering messiah who would bear the sins of the people. The revelation received
warranted confidence that God was a forgiving God and that, atonement having been
made, forgiveness was not only possible, but sure and certain to all in covenant with
Yahweh, showing the unity of the doctrine in both testaments.
From our studies in Matthew we conclude that Jesus had not come to abolish the Law
and the Prophets, rather, he came to fulfil them. The Law and the Prophets pointed to
him, but the Law and the Prophets demanded righteousness. Until now the Law had
only been broken, never kept, but this man never breaks it; he keeps it perfectly; he is
the Righteous One.
Considering the forgiveness of sins, in both Luke and Acts we come to the conclusion
that it is the same forensic reality; that in both books it is conditioned on repentance
and faith. However, in Acts it is clearly and demonstrably based on Christ's death
and resurrection, and the promise of the Holy Spirit.
We conclude from the writings of Paul, that justification is basic to Paul's doctrine of
salvation, and, theologically, Paul's writings contain the most highly developed
expression of this truth in the New Testament. Paul gives first place in Romans to the
'good news' that God graciously justifies sinners through faith alone in Jesus Christ
apart from the works of the law. Romans 1:16-17 contains Paul's thesis in the book
of Romans: that the power of God is revealed through the gospel for all who have
faith. In the remainder of the letter be argues the case for this thesis and defends it
against objections. He begins in 1: 18 -3:20 by arguing that God is righteous and
makes no difference between Jew and Gentile in the matters of sin, judgement and
salvation. Both are justified in the same way, by the grace of God through faith in
Jesus Christ and apart from works of the law.||