Experiencing the Power of the Gospel
Part 3―Biblical Doctrines in the Light of the Gospel
Part 4―Last Day Events (Eschatology)
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In this section of our website, we will investigate the difference between what is called our “Title” to heaven that is given to us, because of what Jesus has done; and our “Fitness” for heaven. Since our “Title” to heaven is a gift, it must be received by faith, in order for us to obtain it.
Rom 10 (v. 8) But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): (v. 9) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (v. 10) For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (v. 11) For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” (v. 12) For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. (v. 13) For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
That is why no amount of works that we can do will be able to purchase it; neither will your attempted sinless behavior be able to justify you to receive this “Title” to heaven. But that doesn’t mean, we should not show any works, reflected in our lives; which is discussed in the second part of the statement: Our “Fitness” for Heaven.
Justification is the acceptance of God's plan of salvation whereby He atones for me. It is God's gift on Calvary. In accepting this gift, I am justified. But if justification is my title to heaven, my fitness for heaven depends on the purging; and the purging is about sanctification, not justification.
One of the bible verses (Rom 4:5) that was used in this article states that “God justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” which indeed can be misleading, because the “ungodly” are thought to be just the bad people only. But the fact is, God has said in His word that “all have fallen short of His standard,” and so we are no better than the bad people, and that classifies us all as in the “ungodly” group.
The second part of this study discusses the value of “works” which are done and reflected throughout our lives. Since the bible says clearly that, “we will be rewarded by our works” (Rev 22:12) then one can conclude that something is accumulated for us up in heaven, reserved for when we get there. The christian needs to know, that while good works do not contribute to your salvation, it does contribute to your reward “given” to you in heaven!
The third part of our study will continue to look more deeply at our “reward” that is accumulated and given to us, with an emphasis on “character development.” Each of the three parts, includes “pop-ups” and “picture” pages with more information, to better understand this confusing topic. Now, to get us started, we will read again our opening statement:
The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven.
The first part of this bible commentary said: the righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; And that is our Title to heaven.
Justified—to regard or treat as righteous and worthy of salvation
Imputed—to credit to a person
Title—all the elements constituting legal ownership
Rom 4 (v. 4) Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. (v. 5) But to him who does not work, but believes on Him who Justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for Righteousness.
Who are the ungodly? You people! And me too!
You’re in the same boat as the wicked!! How do I know that?
Rom 3 (v. 23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
So how can you, and those ungodly people, become Justified?
Rom 3 (v. 22) even the righteousness of God which is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
….The righteousness of Christ, which will be imputed to the believing soul, will be the title by which his entrance into heaven will be assured.…
So our Title to heaven is credited to us, because of Christ’s righteousness, not our own righteousness; but only to those who believe.
John 5 (v. 24) Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
The righteousness goes to all who believe!! That’s why we can’t judge anybody!!
In fact, the bible says: Rom 2 (v. 1) Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
Let’s go back to Romans chapter 4: Rom 4 (v. 6) just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works.
Remember what “imputed” means? That means, our salvation is credited to us, because we believe and are justified, which is our title to heaven.
I Tim 4 (v. 10) ....because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
So, Justification is our Title to heaven and Sanctification is our Fitness for heaven. Next, we will look at how our fitness for heaven develops.
1. Dan Augsburger, (2009). The Branch and the Vine (sermons by Frank B. Phillips), p.41, Booklet.
2. E.G. White, The Review and Herald. (4 Jun 1895), par.7
3. E.G. White, The Youth’s Instructor. (6 Dec 1894), par.4
Image #1: The Godfather Five Families Wiki, (2017). Title and Deed Certificate. Retrieved from http://godfather5f.wikia.com/wiki/Brooklyn
Image #2: Fact Based Truth, (2017). Christians don’t goto heaven when they die. Retrieved from https://factbasedtruth.com/2017/01/04/christians-dont-go-to-heaven-when-they-die/
Image #3: We are in need of salvation, (n.d.). The Meaning of Grace. Retrieved from http://slideplayer.com/slide/10759764/
Image #4: The 12 best judgment images, (n.d). Let he who is without sin. Retrieved form https://www.pinterest.co.uk/bkstroud99/judgment/