THE DIVINE SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM
Question - How Can a Holy God Justify the Ungodly?
There had to be a moral
For God to justify sinners without such a basis would wreck the order of the universe.
cf. Rom. 3:31 It establishes the law. "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." The sinner upholds the law in its right use and honor by confessing his guilt and just condemnation. Christ, on the sinner's behalf, upholds the law by obediently keeping its precepts (Mat 5:17 - 18; Gal 4:4 - 5), and by enduring its penalty, death.
The hardest thing ever attempted by an Infinite God. cf. Job 9:2 ASV "How should man be just with God?" (KJV)
Negatively - What this basis could not be
Could not be on the basis of man's own character.Psa. 130:3 "If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who stand?"
Psa. 143:2 "For in thy sight no man living shall be justified."
Isa. 5:20 "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil."
Nor on the basis of man's observance of the Law.Rom. 3:20 "By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Gal. 3:11-12 "No man is justified by the law." "The law is not of faith."
Nor on the basis of any religious rites done.Rom. 4:9-11 "Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also?For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness."
"How was it then reckoned? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision." "And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also." This is a classic example in scripture of imputation. See vs. 7-8. Even though he was uncircumcised did not stop them from being declared righteous because it was imputed to them.
Nor on the basis of God's Love for man.- Love which winks at sin is not true love. It is mere sentimentalism,
Nor on the basis of God's pity for man's helpless condition.cf. The patricide's plea - From Sir Robert Anderson. Boy killed father and then begged mercy because he was an orphan.
Positively - What the Divine Basis was:God justifies the believing sinner on the basis of that satisfaction rendered fully to the Divine moral law by God's own Son when He died for our sins in our stead upon the cross.
Rom. 3:20-26 - "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;" "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:" "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Cf. Psa. 85:10 Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
cf. John 15:25 "But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause." The utmost reach of the Free-will choice. Man doing as he pleases as his heart unfolds in this ultimate action.
The Logic of Divine Justification(1) Two ways of meeting the demands of the Law: Either keep it perfectly, or pay the penalty for breaking it.
(2) The first we have not done - the second we cannot do.
(3) Christ on the cross satisfied all the demands of broken law. He could do this because He was an infinite person without sin.
Isa. 53:6 "Laid upon him the iniquity of us all." Infinite in force, finite in time.