Here is an illustration of justification - being declared righteous by God. "I was once an amateur, righteous in the mind of the USGA (United States Golf Association). The USGA has laws to obey to maintain an amateur status, this righteousness. However, in my 20s, I began to disobey those laws, becoming a golf professional, a transgressor, an unrighteous golfer in the eyes of the USGA. Once declared unrighteous, the only thing I could do to gain my amateur status back, my righteousness, was to appeal to the USGA, the sovereign of the golf realm, for such a reversal. It was out of my hands. My reinstatement didn’t depend on how much I wanted it or how hard I tried to get it. It was solely up to the USGA. They alone had the power and authority to grant such righteousness. In making my appeal, the USGA requested a list of all my violations, my transgressions against their laws for amateurs. I made that list and submitted it to the USGA for their review, along with an appeal for mercy and reinstatement. After that review of my “record”, they decided to extend that mercy and declare me an amateur again and sent me stating that very fact. I was an amateur again - righteous in the eyes of the USGA. In comparing this declared righteousness by the USGA to that which God speaks over those who trust in Jesus Christ, in both there is a clear set of laws the Sovereign declares must be obeyed to stay righteous. In both, there are violators of those laws. In both, the Sovereign alone has the power and authority to make such a declaration of righteousness. The analogy breaks down in several ways. Regarding what is needed for that declaration, for the USGA, all that was needed was an admission of wrongdoing and a record of that wrongdoing. There was no “payment” for those transgressions required. However, our Sovereign only declares righteousness through the payment of His Son Jesus - by his death and resurrection. Additionally, the USGA will only offer reinstatement to those who have not been “grievous” violators of the amateur code. USGA righteousness may be offered to a minor violator like me but is not available to the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, or Jack Nicklaus. However, our great and merciful Sovereign operates in a different economy. There are no restrictions. The offer of righteousness is open to anyone who will come - regardless of their violations. All that is required is to come admitting our violations and seeking mercy. “Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for fall have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, ithrough the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:19-26

Posted by Bob Schindler - Community Host at 2021-11-18 13:04:00 UTC