Righteousness and Redemption Ė

Faith, all by itself, can lead forgiveness

Mark 2:1-12
Luke 7:36-50
John 8:21-24; John 9:35-41
Acts 26:12-18
John 16:7-11

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Mark 2:1-12 (8/1/11)

So. The Old Testament Standard for righteousness is high, and the New Testament Standard is higher. I have shown myself unable to meet either standard. Now what do I do?

We begin this week to see Godís solution to the problem of unrighteousness. Faith, all by itself, can lead to forgiveness.

Be careful as your read these scriptures not to fall into the trap of thinking that faith, all by itself, is the end of your spiritual journey. Jesus often said, ďGo, and sin no more,Ē and itís easy to show that grace, faith, repentance, and sanctification are a package deal. But for this week, we see that sometimes we are forgiven on the basis of faith alone.

Luke 7:36-50 (8/2/11)

Iíve commented on this passage before, but let me briefly remind you that there is nothing to suggest that this woman was Mary Magdalene, and nothing to prove that she was a prostitute. We donít know what sins she committed or what her name was.

The second important point for this week is that the story doesnít actually even say that she had changed. Simon the Pharisee believed, for what itís worth, that she hadnít. ďShe is a sinner!Ē

The first important point is the order of events:
Thatís not the order of appearance, which is 4, 3, 1, 2. But if you study the story carefully, youíll see that the order of occurrence is as above. Faith can lead to forgiveness.

John 8:21-24; John 9:35-41 (8/3/11)

We learned in our last study that Sin = Death. Today we see that
Since sin is our default condition, it must be true that No Sin = Forgiveness.
If you think my reasoning is too involved, I suggest you read Hebrews or Romans.

Acts 26:12-18 (8/4/11)

Paul started out as a Pharisee among Pharisees. He studied Law under Gamaliel, one of the most famous rabbis of all time. If any writer of the New Testament had been willing to entertain the idea of obtaining righteousness through keeping the commandments, it would have been Paul.

Paul is talking about seeing Jesus on the road to Damascus. Jesus told him that those who have forgiveness of sins have a heritage among those who have been made holy by faith in Jesus. (Note that this is what the Greek actually says in vs. 26:18.) In many other passages, of course, Jesus talked about repentance, doing righteousness, and keeping the commandments, but right here itís just faith and forgiveness.

John 16:7-11 (8/5/11)

As I read this,
Stay tuned.

More on Righteousness and Redemption
Righteousness is required
Works righteousness is not effective for redemption
Righteousness is imputed to those who have faith
Another path to forgiveness: Repentance and Confession
Redemption = Being Ransomed by God from Sin and Death

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