Implicit in the concept of justification is the identification of Jesus Christ as the Son of God (Cullmann). In this essay, the concept of justification will be more closely examined; within two specific chapters of Romans, 4 and 5, justification will be discussed and examined in order to better understand the concept as well as these pivotal chapters of the New Testament itself. In order to better understand the significance of Romans, one must first consider the historical context in which its ideas were shared by the faithful.
Most people governed their actions, and defined their worth, through the laws of the day, which ruled all aspects of life. Within Romans, however, the concept of justification by faith alone, not the law (Perrin & Duling) set the conventional order askew. This concept alone undoubtedly opened the eyes of many people to the refreshing possibility of redemption through the one true God. Those who read these words were introduced to the writings of the apostle Paul, who presented himself in the New Testament as a slave of the Messiah, Jesus Christ (Bryan), the word slave being used not
Order#311114061 Justification Pg. 2 in the conventional sense of bondage and harsh servitude, but rather in a way that allowed those who sought God to come to Him without fear of punishment. The concept of coming to God for justification is personified in Romans through 2 specific verses, as follows: Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. ROMANS 4-4 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness ROMANS 4-5
What these verses tell the reader is that their submission to God, while it will benefit them, is not something that He considers to be optional; moreover, belief in God will lead to redemption because of justification. Beyond the explicit text of justification within Romans, there are also some key themes of justification within it that reinforce the overall concept. Specifically, when Romans calls the people to lift up their hearts, this is an outright plea for people to embrace justification (Knox).
The bottom line in justification is peace with God and salvation through the Holy Spirit, and by the lifting up of the heart, one can attain inner peace and security in the warmth of Gods love. This peace and security is described as being clothed in the righteousness of Christ (Harink), and is further clarified by this passage: therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God ROMANS 5-1. While this brief essay can hardly scratch the surface of the promise of the New Testament and the gift of justification from God to the
Pg. 3 human race because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, one thing is for certain. For the faithful, the redemption from sin by God is a priceless gift, and the New Testament is a rock upon which the hopes of Christians can be bolstered today, tomorrow, and forever. As long as humans walk the face of the earth and beyond, God will be there for them and His words are eternal.
Bryan, C. (2000). A Preface to Romans: Notes on the Epistle in Its Literary and Cultural Setting. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Retrieved June 22, 2006, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=96373444 Cullmann, O. (1963). The Christology of the New Testament (Guthrie, S. C. & Hall, C. A. , Trans. ) (Revised ed. ). Philadelphia: Westminster Press. Retrieved June 22, 2006, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=95085143 Harink, D. (2005, June 14). Setting It Right: Doing Justice to Justification.
The Christian Century, 122, 20+. Retrieved June 22, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5009653212 Knox, J. (1961). Life in Christ Jesus: Reflections on Romans, 5-8. Greenwich, CT: Seabury Press. Retrieved June 22, 2006, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=13880819 Perrin, N. , & Duling, D. C. (1982). The New Testament, an Introduction: Proclamation and Parenesis, Myth and History (2nd ed. ). San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Retrieved June 22, 2006, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=59589847