Gospel Notes

The following is influenced by Jonathan Edwards’ “The Manner in Which the Salvation of the Soul is to Be Sought” (1743), John Wesley’s “Justification by Faith” (1746), John Gill’s “On Justification” (1767), and Baker’s Dictionary on “Justification” (1996).

  1. The Flood of Noah: A Sign of Coming Judgment – 2,400 B.C. (or 4,411 years ago)
    1. Universal Judgment of God.
    2. Noah worked for 120 years building the ark.
    3. Noah warned his neighbors, but they thought he was crazy (Heb. 11:7).
    4. The Flood of Noah = The Lake of Fire.
    5. Noah = Gospel Evangelists.
    6. Heed the Warnings of the Gospel = Repent, Believe, and Obey God’s Law (10, 050 NT).
    7. “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Php. 2:12).
  2. From Depravity to Faith for Acquittal
    1. Adam Fell From Grace – 4,000 B.C. (or 6,000 years ago).
    2. All Men Have Adam’s Nature, and So Are Guilty of Breaking God’s Law.
    3. Man’s Guilt Deserves the Just Condemnation of Eternal Hell Fire.
    4. Jesus—the Divine-Human Representative of Man, Atoned for Our Sins on the Cross.
    5. Gospel—Faith in Atonement = Legal Pardon and Acquittal from All Sins.
    6. Perseverance—Maintaining Strong Faith in the Atonement = No Apostasy.
  3. False Doctrines About Justification
    1. Justification ≠ Sanctification.
    2. Justification Doesn’t Deliver Us From Accusations of Satan, the Law, or Conscience.
    3. Justification Doesn’t Mean God “Lies” to Himself or Overlooks Our Sins.
    4. Good Works Performed By Non-Christians Don’t Legally Justify Them.
    5. False Gospel Doctrines Come From Not Understanding Its Legal Nature.
  4. Gospel Essentials
    1. Justification = Acquittal / Legally Declared Righteous.
    2. God as Judge (Gen. 18:25).
    3. Christ’s Imputation (Rom. 5:19).
    4. Legalism Denied (Gal. 2:16).
    5. Holy Living = Evidence of Faith in the Atonement (Jas. 2:18, 24).
    6. Synergism = The Holy Spirit’s Help for Weak Faith.
    7. Jesus’ Atoning Death (Rom. 4:25; 5:9).
    8. Romans 3-8; Galatians 2-4; James 2.
  5. Legal Terms Related to the Gospel
    1. Gospel – The Good News of Justification by Faith in the Atonement.
    2. Sin – A Crime for Breaking One of God’s Laws.
    3. Original Sin – Adam’s Sinful Nature; Criminal Nature.
    4. Hell – The Penalty of All Sinners; The Prison of Condemned Spirits.
    5. Justification – God’s Forgiveness of Sins (Acquittal) and Imputation of Christ’s Sinlessness.
    6. Atonement – Christ’s Sinless Life and Substitutionary Death (pays the debt for my sins).
    7. Justification by Faith – Revelation that one needs justification.
    8. Weak Faith – Still justifies, but is dangerous territory (possibility of apostasy).
    9. Imputation – Christ’s Sinlessness is Legally Transferred to Our Account in the Book of Life.
    10. Faith, Repentance, and Obedience – God’s Gifts, Imperfectly Used by Man.

Further Reading on Justification by Faith. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion 3.11-18 (1559); John Owen, The Doctrine of Justification by Faith (1677); James Buchanan, The Doctrine of Justification (1867); G. C. Berkouwer, Faith and Justification (1954); Mark Seifrid, Christ, Our Righteousness (2000); Alister McGrath, Iustitia Dei: A History of the Doctrine of Justification, 3rd Edition (2005).

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