Martin Luther was the leading figure of the Reformation events, and it was his insight into the doctrine of Justification , given by the revelation of God through study of the Holy Scriptures, that separated him from his Roman Catholic beginnings.For the church of Rome taught, and still teaches, that sinners are justified from original sin by the grace of God, but that justification is not permanent or applicable to all the debt of sin, and it is only maintained by the subsequent practice of good works in the flesh. It teaches that man is not kept totally free from the debt of sin without continual actions on his part required to obtain the "graces" of God. It confuses the doctrine of justification with the doctrine of sanctification, making justification a progressive human work on the part of the believer. It teaches the grace of God can be bought (e.g. "indulgences") and must be continously merited through church rituals and rites.Luther discovered that justification was free and a permanent work of God that forever freed him from his debt of sin. God revealed to Luther through His Word, that justification came by faith, and not by works of the flesh. Luther's gospel proclamation before the RCC and the world became, "Justification comes by faith in Jesus Christ, alone!"Sinners are saved and justified because of the Covenant of Redemption (Grace) decreed and established between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in eternity and performed by the Triune Godhead in time. Justification from sin comes from the love of the Father, the death of the Son, and the calling of the Elect out of sin and darkness unto new spiritual life and light by the Holy Spirit (regeneration & conversion). Justification does not come through the self-righteous works of men in the flesh.Justification is thoroughly a work of the righteousness and grace of God . . .A work promised in heaven before creation. (Father)A work done once and for all on the cross of Jesus Christ. (Son)A work permanently applied to sinners in time. (Holy Spirit) If God does all the work of justification, what does man do?Man rests in the righteousness of Jesus Christ that justifies his soul and exhibits the gift of faith given to him by the grace of God, and walks by the Spirit in the good works "which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Eph. 2:10Our good works are simply the fruit of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. (Galatians 5:22-26)"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Eph. 2:8&9"For in it (this good news of Christ) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith.'" Romans 1:17, Habakkuk 2:4"Therefore by the deeds of the Law, no flesh shall be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart fromt he Law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe." Romans 3:20-22"Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Romans 3:24"Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1"Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Romans 5:9"Moreover, whom He (Father) predestined, these He (Holy Spirit) also called; whom He called, these He (Jesus Christ) also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified." Romans 8:30" . . You were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." I Corinthians 6:11a"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified." Galatians 2:16"But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for 'the just shall live by faith.'" Galatians 3:11"Therefore, the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Galatians 3:24Luther's message to the church at Rome, and the Reformed Christians' message to all who practice works-righteousness religions, is the following:"You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love." Galatians 5:4-6". .Having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:7This doctrine of Justification by Faith was the basis of the Reformation and separation of the invisible church of Jesus Christ from the tyranny of works-righteousness demanded by the RCC.Reformed Theology emphasizes the doctrines of Grace (TULIP)which are learnt by studying the Holy Scriptures. God's Word is the final and sole authority in the things of God; taught by the Holy Spirit of God, to each individual soul justified by God.J&R
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