Thursday, February 25, 2016

Theological Talk

One of the problems with theological words is not that they are so difficult to understand, but instead, that we make them so difficult to understand.  Too many times we preachers preach not toward the simple definition but toward the more exhaustive one which will prove that we have the larger understanding of all the possible nuances of some theological word.  The words like justification, salvation, redemption, and atonement drift by the average pew sitter who really only needs a word that can simply penetrate the heart and not the head.  This is not a suggestion that our minds need to be left at the door when we worship, but simply a confession that we preachers have largely forgotten the power of a word for the heart. 

One of those theological words so important to the season of Lent and its central symbol, the cross, is the word "justification."  Simply stated, justification is that act of God which causes Him to see us just as if we had never sinned.  Justification is first and foremost an act of God.  It is an act of God which makes humankind to be accoiunted as just and righteous, free from guilt and the penalty of sin.  The act of God which makes this simple, profound, and life changing truth reality is the cross.  To say we are justified has nothing to do with us and everything to do with God.

In Romans 3:24-25 there is this Word of God which says, "...they are now justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by His blood, effective through faith."  God has acted for the sake of humanity through the horrible cross death of His Son.  He changed the game completely for us so that it is now possible for us to stand before Him as one who has never sinned.  Would you dare believe such a thing?  Dare to believe it.  Dare to believe this eternal truth which only awaits the human response of faith to be stamped as effective, not for the world, but for you and me.

No comments: