1 July 2012

Why Bother about Justification?

(Gospel e-Letter - July 2012)

I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes - Romans 1:16

Meningitis remains a deadly disease in children. Thankfully the number of cases of meningitis has decreased over the past twenty years ago or so, mostly due to immunisation.

However this dreaded infection is not completely eradicated because we do not yet have vaccines that cover all the different microbes that cause meningitis. Moreover some parents fail to immunize their children either out of neglect or fear. It is heartbreaking when a child dies of of an infection that could have been easily prevented.

Spiritually, it is even more tragic when we neglect the gospel message of salvation by faith in Christ Jesus. The consequences in this life and beyond are terrible.

Why should we bother about ‘Justification’? – whatever that means. Isn’t that the doctrine that caused so much trouble in Europe during the Protestant Reformation? Why should I care about a doctrine that caused so much strife and division in Christianity? It is far more important for me to concentrate on my job and family, and for Christians to work for unity and mutal understanding.

I can think of three good reasons why we should bother about what the Bible teaches on justification, indeed, why we should take it most seriously.

1. We are already infected with sin
We have broken the law of God, and therefore we are guilty before him. We may not yet feel the full force of the consequences of sin, but nonetheless sin separates us from God, from whom and in whom alone we can find life, meaning and joy.

2. There is a cure for sin
The cure for sin comes to us in the message of the gospel. It may not be popular or in fashion in our society, but it is nonetheless, the ‘power of God for salvation’. There is a way of escape and freedom from guilt. There is a way of reconciliation and peace with God.

3. If untreated sin kills
Maybe we may go through this short life without too much trouble, and even enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and much pleasure. Ultimately, if we die in sin, there is no escaping from the wrath of God. Judgement is coming. The gospel, unless it is embraced now, is of no use beyond the grave.

That’s why we should bother about justification. We can’t afford to neglect this message from heaven, nor should we be afraid to receive it. The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believe in his Son, Jesus.