The Myth of Final Justification (2023 Conference) (Part 1)


Tune in to listen to Pastor Mike’s message at the 2023 Pactum Conference!


The Myth of Final Justification (2023 Conference) (Part 2)

Welcome to No Compromise Radio Ministry. My name is Mike Abendroth. We could also call this Duplex Gratia Radio if you like Latin.
Today, a special episode I'm going to be playing. I'm going to be playing. I hate it when
I say gonna, but we just all say that, don't we, or many of us say it. I'm going to be playing the message
I preached at the Pactum Conference in Omaha, Nebraska in early October, and I have permission from Pat Abendroth to play that.
My topic was the myth of final justification, and I've talked about it some here on the radio show, but this is a more formal presentation jammed into 40, 42 minutes.
And so this is my message on the myth or the lie of final justification in Omaha at Omaha Bible Church played on the
Pactum with permission of Pat Abendroth. Here you go. Hello and welcome to the
Pactum. This is Mike Grimes here with Pat Abendroth in the Pactum studio, and we're here for episode 145 today.
Mike, this is going to be a great one. It's going to be fun, but I'm kind of getting out of the, I don't know, out of the loop. That's not the right word.
I'm not feeling the love. We haven't been recording new episodes. We haven't been part -time job. I'm working at the
Chick -fil -A. I have so much free time on my hands.
I'm not sure what to do, but in all seriousness, I'm working on episodes, upcoming episodes, working on the 2024
Pactum Conference. Yes, that's coming up. Yeah. I think the dates might be October 11th and 12th, and we might be telling you more about that here pretty soon.
That sounds like there's rumors to be spread. That is definitely rumorville fodder is what that is.
Yeah, for sure. We'll talk about it. Oh, yeah. Episode 145 is going to be with my brother, my older brother,
Michael Abendroth, Michael Lee Abendroth, and he's talking about the myth of final justification.
Oh, the myth of final justification, or as he would say, the lie of final justification. This is from the 2023
Pactum Conference, all things new, and it's related because, hey, folks, remember, judgment day is coming, but we already know there's no condemnation,
Romans 8 .1, for those who are in Christ Jesus, and so judgment's already been taken care of. It's why we have assurance.
It's why Romans 8 is so awesome. Neither height, nor depth, nor angels, nor principalities, life, death.
It goes on and on and on. We have assurance. We are not living in fear and trepidation because Jesus is our victorious savior, and his work on our behalf is already done.
Let's live for the glory of Christ out of gratitude because it's all settled. We're not initially justified by faith or something else and then finally justified by our obedience.
It's all taken care of. We're Christians. We have assurance. That's right. Man, I want to preach is what
I want to do. Go for it, you know? So enjoy Mike Abendroth, episode 145, the myth of final justification.
I just figured if I don't have anything good to say, you can just look at my jacket. Remember with Paul, they criticized him and said, he doesn't look good and he can't speak.
Right. And so, Pat, thanks for that introduction. By the way, many of you have come to me and said that you're praying for me.
Thank you. I really appreciate that. I think about how you ministered to my mom when she was dying of cancer, how you love my younger brother.
And so I'm in debt to Omaha Bible Church. Thank you. There was a man named
Robert Thornton, and he was a professor at Levi University, and he wanted to help people not get sued.
And so he came up with a litigation proof lexicon of intentionally ambiguous recommendations.
L I A R. If someone was inept, you would write,
I enthusiastically recommend this candidate with no qualifications whatsoever. If somebody was unproductive,
I can assure you that no person would be better for the job. You're a little slow on the uptake.
I know it's Omaha. Hey, I was born here.
I can say it. If somebody is not worth consideration, you would say,
I urge you to waste no time in making this candidate an offer of employment. He's a difficult man to replace.
You'll sue you if you try to fire him. He takes a lot of enjoyment out of work and ruins it for everyone else.
That's my favorite and last one. If I were you, I'd give him sweeping responsibilities.
Well, today we're going to look at another lie. It's not funny, and I wish it wasn't true, but it's the lie of final justification.
The lie of a justification that's different than the initial justification. And so we're going to look at that today.
The title is entitled the myth of final justification, but I'm going to amend it to a theological lie of future justification.
It happens all the time. So Lafitte is attacked. Faith alone is attacked. And the good news, when there's something wrong happening in the church, the truth rallies around it.
And we proclaim again, the truth that's found in Christ Jesus alone. So today, I guess five outline points have been taken.
Seven have been taken. And so every good pastor that has more than five, six, seven, eight, or nine,
I'm just going to give you several questions, because I don't know how many I'll get to. Several questions that I'm going to ask you so that you can understand final justification, reject it, and then rejoice in the justification that is found in Christ Jesus.
Do you know, dear Christian, that when you die, you will not become more righteous in heaven? Did you know that?
You are as righteous as you'll ever be in God's eyes. Counted righteous as Christ Jesus, you can't get more righteous.
Did you know like John Bunyan, who was walking around one day, and he was wondering about his own sin, thinking, you know what?
Will I make it into heaven? And we all have questions about our salvation, and we have anxieties, and what's going to happen. And it dawned on him, my righteousness is in heaven, and it's been in heaven for 1 ,800 years.
I want you to be assured of your salvation, dear Christian. I want you to be confident. I want you to be able to be on your deathbed and think, my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ and his righteousness.
Questions about final justification. By the way, I'm going to go as fast as I can, and I want you to know that there are preachers that preach a long time.
I read about a man in southern France, and he preached 50 sermons in a row on two words, repent ye.
And some of those sermons lasted four and a half hours. So I have 40 minutes, we better go, let's buckle up.
Question number one, what is future justification? This is not a Bible exposition, we'll get to the
Bible here in just a second, but what is future justification? What is final justification? What final justification advocates teach is two justifications.
The initial one, salvation by faith alone, justification by faith alone, forensically, courtroom language, gavel language, the judge says not guilty.
And then the final day, the final judgment, there's another justification based on your works, based on how much the
Holy Spirit has transformed your lives. So they have two justifications, initial and final.
The first rests on the finished work of Christ, and the last one, the transformative one, rests on your works.
In other words, justification doesn't solely rely on Christ's death and resurrection, but the
Holy Spirit's transformation in your life. The first justification doesn't guarantee the last justification they teach.
They think the first one is provisional, and we'll see if you make the last one if you have enough works.
And you say, who could really say that? N .T. Wright. Justification at the last will be on the basis of performance.
That's not talking about Jesus's performance, but your performance. And by the way, start thinking to yourself, if you're like me,
I lie to myself, and I become self -righteous, and I think I actually do those works that God really wants me to do with a pure heart.
But if you're honest with yourself, you're going to start thinking, what's going to go on on that day when I stand before God?
Eternity is a long time. So they teach two justifications. That's why they call it the final justification.
N .T. Wright said, present justification declares on the basis of faith what future justification will publicly affirm on the basis of the entire life.
So how is your entire life going to stack up on that final day? And you see where that goes in terms of messing with your assurance.
They deny justification is solely grounded on the imputation of Christ's righteousness. And they simply blend your holy living category of sanctification into justification.
You would have to need with this system sufficient evidence of what the Holy Spirit is doing on your behalf.
Initial justification, final justification to ensure your deliverance.
And I just want you to know that's bad news. That's very bad news. One of my goals today is when you hear something that someone teaches,
I want you to run it through the rubric of, is that good news or bad news? When they start talking about your life has to be transformed enough in order to get to heaven,
I want you to start thinking, that's not good news, because that's not talking about Jesus. Good news is Jesus incarnate, is the second person of Trinity.
That's not good news. That's bad news. Question one, what is final justification? It's the second justification based on your transformed life following the initial justification based on Christ's life.
Question number two follows, what is justification? What is the true? What is the real justification?
Because that would be good to know. Let's turn our Bibles to Romans chapter three. As we talk about God's free justification, as the confession says, not by infusing righteousness into us, but by pardoning our sins, by accounting and accepting us as righteous, not by anything wrought in us or done by us, but for Christ's sake alone.
It is Jesus who fully discharged the debt of all of our sins. By the way, he continues,
God does, to forgive us all of our sins because we are justified and we can, as the confession says, never fall from that.
Romans three, let's pick it up in verse nine, please. 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.
With our law gospel paradigms, I just said law, didn't I? I knew it. I got to New England and somebody got up and was reading the words in Revelation and they said, quoting
Jesus, I am the Alpha and Omega. And I did what you did, out loud laugh, but nobody else laughed.
I can't disbelieve I said law. So law from God here in this first use is like a mirror and you look at yourself and you think,
I'm really sinful. I'm better than other people, but I'm sinful. And you get those 10X magnifying mirrors and it's got the light around it and you thought,
I looked pretty good when I woke up, but when you look at the pockmarks and everything else, and so the law shows us we need a savior.
And by the way, when this law is preached in such a way, it stops our mouths as unbelievers. You're right,
I'm sinful. I stand before you, God, and I need a savior. For by works of the law, verse 20, no human being will be justified in his sight since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
Now the light goes on, good news, but now everything turns it here. The righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law.
That's us keeping the law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it. The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus for all who believe.
There's no distinction for all sin and continually fall short of the glory of God. And there's our word again, justified by his grace as a gift.
And you see it down in verse 26 as well, that he might be the just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Verse 28, for we hold that one is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
If you think of law, here's what you should think of. There's a positive side precept for keeping it, and there's a penalty if you disobey it.
And so Jesus, of course, you ask the question, why did he not come down on Friday and then be killed and raised on Sunday?
Well, Jesus is sent by the father of a woman born under what? Law. So let's think of like a mower, and you're mowing here in Nebraska.
I used to mow. I just drove past my old house that I grew up in, and I'd have to mow. And so you've got forward, reverse, and neutral.
And so Adam's in the garden, and he's in neutral, and God says, I want you to obey me forward. Well, instead of doing that,
Adam jams it into reverse, doesn't even put the clutch in, and that's where he goes, disobeys
God. So the negative side of disobedience, the penalty has been paid for, and Michael Beck was talking about that substitution even early on in Genesis, and now
Adam's back to neutral. But that first Adam still has to obey positively to keep that precept of the law.
So in Jesus, when we think about justification, we shouldn't just say, it's just as if I've never sinned.
We should be thinking, it's just as if I've never sinned because those have been paid for. I never will sin.
I never have to pay for my sins, but also that I've perfectly, entirely, exactly, perpetually kept the law.
You can remember that with P -E -E -P. Perfectly, entirely, exactly, perpetually. Peeps, when
Easter comes up, and you see those marshmallows at the door, I want you to redeem those. This is
Adam language, federal representation language. By the way, you can put peeps, the marshmallows, in the microwave, put two of them in there, and they have peep wars,
I heard. They have peepsa pizza, and so you can do whatever you want, but God requires you to have in perfect, entire, exact, perpetual obedience, and that is the reward for keeping the law.
But if we don't keep the law, there's a penalty, and so you see with Jesus, he dies for our sins, that's the negative side of the law, and he obeys for us.
So justification is simply accounting language that says, in God's eyes, because of Christ's perfect work, because of Christ's penalty paid for you, not for him, he sees you as justified, and it's the language of declaration.
It's not talking about inside, infusing righteousness, the declaration in God's courtroom, you have perfectly kept the law.
That's how I see you. You have had all your sins paid for, and that's what justification language is.
And I want you to know, dear Christian, when you are justified, you receive all of Christ's righteousness, and you can't be justified anymore.
You can't be justified any less. You know, I know this is hard to believe, but do you know I am just as justified as Michael Beck?
And so are you, because you get all of Christ's righteousness, and that can never be revoked. It can never be taken away, because it's been done by someone else.
And just like when people say, well, you can lose your salvation, well, you never earned it, and you can't lose your justification.
We've now gone from the language of, well, sure, you can lose your salvation, or maybe you can. Now you can lose your justification.
I mean, Jesus' death is so great. Let's just ponder for a moment. I know we don't like to go back in the trash bin of our sins.
I've committed a lot of bad sins, even here in Douglas County. Think about the worst sin you ever committed.
If Jesus were to walk in when you were committing that sin, what would His posture be?
He's certainly holy. He certainly doesn't like sin. It's abhorrent.
But the Lord Jesus, if you can just follow with the analogy a little bit, would say something like, that is grievous sin.
You need to repent, but I want you to know that I love you, and I'm going to pay for that sin and every other sin that you've committed.
I love you. And since God is immutable, that love stays.
Justification by faith alone has benefits, verse one and two of chapter five. This definitive righteousness that's given, securing
God's verdict has benefits. Look at the benefits we get. Therefore, Romans 5 .1,
since we've been justified by faith, we hope we'll have peace with God in the future through Jesus Christ, our
Lord. Oh, sorry, I misunderstood that. Let's try again. Therefore, since we've received only the initial stage of justification, excuse me.
Therefore, we shall have peace with God after we've been sufficiently sanctified. Rats, true.
Last try. We'll have peace with God that has been inaugurated, but we hope will be consummated later.
All right, the real one. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, present tense, we have peace with God through our
Lord Jesus, and what's more, through him we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
See, that's good news. When you hear things like that, you should say to yourself, is that good news? Yes, because it's reminding me about the
Savior that the Father has sent. Louis Burkhoff. Justification takes place once for all.
It's not repeated. It's not a process. It's complete once and for all time. There's no more or less justification.
You are either justified or not justified. In distinction from sanctification, which is a continuous process and is never completed in this life.
Spurgeon. The moment you believe in Christ, you receive pardon.
Your sins are no longer yours. They're cast in the depths of the sea. They were laid upon the shoulders of Christ and are gone.
The man, you dear Christian or woman, stands guiltless in the sight of God. What you say, do you mean that literally?
Yes, I do, Spurgeon said, and that is the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Remember Micah?
Hurling sins into the depths of the sea. Did you know God is an eager forgiver? He doesn't just drop them over,
Gary Bridges says. He just doesn't kind of fling them over. He hurls them over to show you with a language of analogy that he's eager to forgive you.
You, dear Christian, will stand before God on Christ's righteousness or Christ plus yours or your own, and only one of those is good news.
Romans chapter eight, the shockingest verse maybe in all the Bible. It's unguarded. It maybe shouldn't be here.
It might lead you to licentiousness. There's therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
You just need to let that settle over you. I've been on what I thought was my deathbed, and that's the verse that kept the refrain in my mind of joy going.
There's no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Accusations, yes. Sins that I've committed, yes, but no condemnation because the opposite word of justification, the antonym is what?
Condemnation. There is no condemnation. Could there be greater assurance?
He just got done saying in Romans seven, I don't do what I want to do, and I do what I'm not supposed to do. Wretched man that I am.
And here this mic drop, Romans chapter eight, verse one. The unchanging, unmerited love of God in Christ Jesus.
Christian, past sins paid for, no condemnation. Present sins paid for, no condemnation.
Future sins, yes, future sins paid for, no condemnation. You can't be unreconciled.
You can't be unredeemed. You can't be unforgiven. You can't be unjustified because the end time verdict that you will hear on judgment day is given to you now in the present, no condemnation.
It's front loaded. What will happen on that day? Are you afraid for Jesus's return? We might talk about that a little at the very end.
Are you frightened that Jesus is going to return? And then what? By the way, that should be the most comforting thing at all for the
Christian. We ought not to be afraid of that. Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven and whose sins have been covered.
No condemnation, now I dread, Wesley wrote, Jesus in all in him is mine. Alive in him my living head and clothed in righteousness divine.
Afraid, I approach the eternal throne. Oh sorry, I keep misreading up here. Bold, I approach the eternal throne because of what