WHY STUDY THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION?
Pastor Jim Amandus
Why are Pastor Jay Haugh and I teaching everyone at Highlands the doctrine of justification? For the same two reasons the Apostle Paul helped the church in Rome master this doctrine: keeping the message clear and spiritual success. Here is what Paul said. Watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them… The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. Romans 16:17, 20a
Clear and Compelling—Doctrinal clarity creates a culture of spiritually courageous believers. I purpose to approach the Scriptures as a constant learner and I hope everyone at Highlands will too. Humility does not mean we aren’t clear, confident, and courageous over the truth of justification. The Bible is clear about how a person is made right with God. He declares a believer righteous before Him by faith alone in Christ’s death on the cross alone. Jesus’ death on the cross is a once-and-for-all payment price for the sins of the entire world (Hebrews 10:11-14). Simply put—Jesus changes people!
Here at Highlands we aren’t tossing around different opinions or philosophies about how kids, teenagers, or adults can experience a personal relationship with God. That’s why I want us all to understand the biblical doctrine of justification. We want to keep God’s message of hope accurate, clear, and compelling. Let’s be honest. I’m not willing to die for a doctrinal statement…but I am willing to die for Jesus Christ. Jesus leveled the religious playing field when he declared, “I am the way, the truth and the life—no one comes to the Father but by me (John 14:6). Jesus is clear and compelling. Highlands is passionate about bringing the hope and healing of the gospel to our hurting world.
Spiritual Success—A lot of Christians feel that spiritual success is when everything is going right in their lives. I love Paul’s rally cry…the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. That church was located in the capital city of the Roman Empire. Every cultural current was moving against those believers. Spiritual success isn’t about everything going right—it’s about living right. When God’s people live out God’s truth, their lives become clear and compelling and God crushes Satan under the feet of His church.
I can tell you story after story of people in our community who became curious about Jesus because of Christian friends or coworkers’ lives. The truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ transforms us. This year we have seen countless people transformed as they have come to faith in Jesus. We are a part of God’s kingdom movement to bring people to Jesus. God does the work—but He does it through His workers. Simply stated: Jesus changes people and changed people change people!