A Summary to Understanding The Gospel ­– by Desmond Ford

Jun 21, 2015 3262

cross2If we want a summary in understanding the gospel, we need to remember these things. We are justified (declared righteous) meritoriously on the basis of the blood of Christ. What we get is what the blood of Christ deserves. So, we are justified meritoriously on the basis of the blood, and only the blood. We’re not declared righteous because we’ve been gong to church for twenty years, and give good tithes and offerings, or we have a good lifestyle and diet – none of those things, as important as they are. We are justified meritoriously on the basis of the blood alone.

We are justified instrumentally by faith alone. The only way you can take hold of it is by faith alone. You don’t take hold of it by a whole series of things like fasting, praying, sacrifices, doing this, that, and other things. No, we are justified instrumentally (how we get it) by faith alone.

Faith is the empty hand. A big man holds out an apple to a little child and says, “Son, would you like an apple?” “Yes, sir”, says the boy, and he puts out his hand. Putting out his hand didn’t earn it, didn’t make it, didn’t make him deserve it. He just took it. That’s what faith is – the empty beggar’s hand.

So we are justified instrumentally by faith alone. Anybody can take it. There is no virtue in faith. The virtue is in its object. Like the glasses on your nose – take the glasses off your nose and they’re worth nothing. Focus them on their object and they come into their own. That’s faith.

Lastly, we are justified evidentially by works. What do I mean by that? I mean the evidence of whether we’ve been declared righteous is in the way we live. It’s the evidence–it’s not the cause nor is it the means nor the instrument nor is it what gives merit to our salvation – it’s the result.

So we are justified meritoriously only because of the death of Jesus and His blood. We are justified instrumentally only because of the hand of faith that reaches out and takes the gift. You don’t have to have feelings. We’re not saved by what we feel, but by what Jesus felt for us. “Be my feelings what they will, Jesus is my Saviour still.” Third, we are justified evidentially by good works.

If we love Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes in and He changes our loves, so that at we love good things and now begin to hate bad things, and our lives will show it. They won’t be perfect ­­– nobody’s perfect except Jesus. We’ll have to ask for forgiveness of sins everyday, but we won’t cherish sin, we won’t seek after it. We may stumble into it, but we’ll hate it and get out, and immediately ask for forgiveness and strength to overcome. The direction of our life is what God judges us by – not a good deed or bad deed now and again, but the main direction – that’s how He judges us.

In what direction are we going? He won’t ask how many times you’ve stumbled, but where are you headed? Our works will show that.

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32.Adapted from “Tomorrow According to Daniel.”

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