Therefore we conclude, etc. - Seeing these things cannot be denied, viz., that all have sinned: that all are guilty, that all are helpless: that none can deliver his own soul, and that God, in his endless mercy, has opened a new and living way to the holiest by the blood of Jesus, Hebrews 10:19, Hebrews 10:20, etc: therefore we, apostles and Christian teachers, conclude, λογιζομεθα, prove by fair, rational consequence, that a man - any man, is justified - has his sins blotted out, and is received into the Divine favor, by faith in Christ's blood, without the deeds of the law, which never could afford, either to Jew or Gentile, a ground for justification, because both have sinned against the law which God has given them, and, consequently, forfeited all right and title to the blessings which the obedient might claim.
Therefore - As the result of the previous train of argument.
That a man - That all who are justified; that is, that there is no other way.
Is justified by faith - Is regarded and treated as righteous, by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Without the deeds of the law - Without works as a meritorious ground of justification. The apostle, of course, does not mean that Christianity does not produce good works, or that they who are justified will not obey the Law, and be holy; but that no righteousness of their own will be the ground of their justification. They are sinners; and as such can have no claim to he treated as righteous. God has devised a plan by which, they may be pardoned and saved; and that is by faith alone. This is the grand uniqueness of the Christian religion. This was the special point in the reformation from popery. Luther often called this doctrine of justification by faith the article upon which the church stood or fell - articulus stantis, vel cadentis ecclesiae - and it is so. If this doctrine is held entire, all others will be held with it. If this is abandoned, all others will fall also. It may be remarked here, however, that this doctrine by no means interferes with the doctrine that good works are to be performed by Christians. Paul urges this as much as any other writer in the New Testament. His doctrine is, that they are not to be relied on as a ground of justification; but that he did not mean to teach that they are not to be performed by Christians is apparent from the connection, and from the following places in his epistles: Romans 2:7; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:10; 1 Timothy 5:10, 1 Timothy 5:25; 1 Timothy 6:18; 2 Timothy 3:17; Titus 2:7, Titus 2:14; Titus 3:8; Hebrews 10:24. That we are not justified by our works is a doctrine which he has urged and repeated with great power and frequency. See Romans 4:2, Romans 4:6; Romans 9:11, Romans 9:32; Romans 11:6; Galatians 2:16; Galatians 3:2, Galatians 3:5, Galatians 3:10; Ephesians 2:9; 2 Timothy 1:9.
The danger has been presented to me again and again of entertaining, as a people, false ideas of justification by faith. I have been shown for years that Satan would work in a special manner to confuse the mind on this point. The law of God has been largely dwelt upon and has been presented to congregations, almost as destitute of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His relation to the law as was the offering of Cain. I have been shown that many have been kept from the faith because of the mixed, confused ideas of salvation, because the ministers have worked in a wrong manner to reach hearts. The point that has been urged upon my mind for years is the imputed righteousness of Christ. I have wondered that this matter was not made the subject of discourses in our churches throughout the land, when the matter has been kept so constantly urged upon me, and I have made it the subject of nearly every discourse and talk that I have given to the people. FW 18.1Read in context »
God has given to every man talents in trust. To every man He has given his work. There can be no idlers in His vineyard. Each has most earnest, sacred, solemn work to do for the Master. To everyone is committed some work to do, and none are excused. The day of final account will come, when the Lord reckons with His servants. The Chief Shepherd is Judge and illustrates the great principles which are to regulate the proceedings of the reckoning with His servants who are justified by faith, judged by their works. Faith works by love and purifies the soul of moral defilement that it may become a temple for the Lord. TDG 208.2Read in context »
Genuine faith will be manifested in good works; for good works are the fruits of faith. As God works in the heart, and man surrenders his will to God, and cooperates with God, he works out in the life what God works in by the Holy Spirit, and there is harmony between the purpose of the heart and the practice of the life. Every sin must be renounced as the hateful thing that crucified the Lord of life and glory, and the believer must have a progressive experience by continually doing the works of Christ. It is by continual surrender of the will, by continual obedience, that the blessing of justification is retained. 1SM 397.1
Those who are justified by faith must have a heart to keep the way of the Lord. It is an evidence that a man is not justified by faith when his works do not correspond to his profession. James says, “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was his faith made perfect?” (James 2:22). 1SM 397.2Read in context »
16 (ch. 3:10-13, 24; Romans 3:19-28; 5:1). No Room for Self-sufficiency—We are justified by faith. The soul who understands the meaning of these words will never be self-sufficient. We are not sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves. The Holy Spirit is our efficiency in the work of character building, in forming characters after the divine similitude. When we think ourselves capable of molding our own experience, we make a great mistake. We can never of ourselves obtain the victory over temptation. But those who have genuine faith in Christ will be worked by the Holy Spirit. The soul in whose heart faith abides will grow into a beautiful temple for the Lord. He is directed by the grace of Christ. Just in proportion as he depends on the Holy Spirit's teaching he will grow (Manuscript 8, 1900). 6BC 1109.1
20 (Philippians 1:21; Colossians 3:3; see EGW on Revelation 3:1). The Greatest Work in the World—Everything good in men and women is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit teaches us to reveal righteousness in our lives. The greatest work that can be done in our world is to glorify God by living the character of Christ. God will make perfect only those who will die to self. Those who are willing to do this can say, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Manuscript 16, 1900). 6BC 1109.2Read in context »