Tag Archives: Justification


56/365 morning run

56/365 morning run (Photo credit: kharied)

I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. (Psalm 119:32)

Oh, Christian, run hard after God’s commands. His yoke is easy and His burden, light. His path is free of snares and traps. He goes before you to smooth the way. Follow close. The way is narrow, but well-marked.

Run without fear, for His perfect love casts out fear. Run without guilt; your sins are forgiven. Run without worry; God will provide. Do you love Him? Are you called? Then run without question, for He makes all things work together for good.

Run without doubt, for He promises you wisdom. Run without thirst; living water is yours. Run without hunger; He is the bread of life. Run by faith, for by it you are justified. Run with joy, for therein lies your strength. Run in love, for that is the greatest commandment of all. Run and take heart; He has overcome the world.

Run for His sake. Run by Grace. Run that He may be glorified. Run well, and do not faint.

Run with abandon, beloved. Has He not set your heart free?

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel

Letting The Spirit Have His Way With Us

Sermon Notes, Pastor Milton Vincent
April 28, 2012-Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church

We have studied and exposited Romans 5-8 over the past year and a half.  Now, what then shall we do in response to the Gospel truths, promises, and realities we have learned?

“The Gospel is like a caged lion. It does not need to be defended, it just needs to be let out of its cage.” -Spurgeon

Comparing Romans 7 and 8:

Romans 7: The words, I, my, me are used 47 times. The word “law” is used a total of 22 times. 19 times in reference to the OT law, and 3 times in reference to the law of sin.

If you revolve around the law the best you are ever going to get is “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (Rom. 7:19)

Romans 8: The Spirit is mentioned 20 times.
What Paul longs for (life in the Spirit) is found in Romans 8.


1. He liberates us from the law of sin and death. (Rom. 8:1-2)
-There is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
-The law of sin and death has been broken.
-The law that says you are a slave to sin is broken.

As much as we hate sin, for many years it has been our home and it’s comfortable. When stresses come, it’s easy to retreat back into sin. (Example given: Russell Moore’s adoption of an orphan from a Russian orphanage. The orphan was offered a better life, free from the stench and squalor of the orphanage, yet cries and reaches back toward orphanage when taken away.) The Holy Spirit beckons us to a life of freedom, better by far than our old bondage.

2. He inhabits us, making us His home. (Rom. 8:9-11)
-The Holy Spirit dwells in us.
-Not just that the Holy Spirit is present, but He makes us His home.
-The word “dwell” means not just as a guest or a tenant, but as an owner. We belong to him.
-He has ownership rights to do what He wants for our good and His Glory.

3. He enlivens our spirits by making vivid to us the reality of our justification. (Rom. 8:10)
-At our conversion, God decides to forever think of us as forgiven of our sins, past, present and future.
-He forever thinks of us as having the righteousness of Jesus.
-His thoughts toward us are forever governed by this verdict of “righteous”.
-The Spirit actualizes the reality of our justification and makes it vivid in our souls.

Paul uses half of chapter 3, all of chapter 4, and all of chapter 5 in Romans, 57 verses (!) to teach believing people about the reality of their Justification. Why? The Holy Spirit put it in Paul to reveal the doctrine of Justification because He wants it to be real to us.

-Doctrine of Justification mortifies idols, fills us with inner joy and a desire to obey.
-Let the Holy Spirit take us deeper into the doctrine of Justification. Be a student of this doctrine and its realities.
-Our Justification is a one-time occurrence, but the realities of it can be enjoyed and expanded upon.

4. He empowers us to kill sin. (Rom. 8:13)
-God did not give us the Holy Spirit so that we could coddle sin and live a life of sin management.
-It is by the power of the Holy Spirit we kill sin.
-Romans 7 could represent what it’s like to try to kill sin apart from the Spirit.

Don’t let it be conceived. (Js. 1:14-15)
If conceived, kill it before its birth.
If born, mortify it with confession and repentance.
When tempted, don’t think compromise, toleration or coddling. Think MURDER (of sin).
Kill it by confessing it and running to the cross.
Christians need a “Holy Mean Streak” when it comes to sin.
Develop an attitude against sin.

5. He leads us in the ways of sonship. (Rom. 8:14-16)
-Lead by Spirit = Sons of God.
-He coaches and leads into living a life appropriate as a son or daughter of God.
-We are more than just a subject or a slave (although we are that, too), but also a child of God living in the full privileges as sons and daughters of God.
-Don’t be timid or afraid. Trust the Holy Spirit to lead us closer in Father and child relationship.
-By the Holy Spirit we cry out, “Abba! Father! Daddy!”
-The Holy Spirit brings us to the Father in our joy, celebration, worship, grief, mourning or pain.
-The Holy Spirit also mediates the response of the Father toward us. (v. 16)

6. He helps us with our weakness and intercedes for us. (Rom. 8:26-27)
-He is not put off or repulsed by us in our ignorance and weakness, but attracted to it.
-He moves toward us in our weakness and helps us by interceding on our behalf.
-He comes alongside and is not satisfied until we get what we need.
-The Holy Spirit prays and the Father agrees with His prayer for our weakness.

Inside the prayer of the Holy Spirit, your deepest need meets God’s perfect will. Let the Spirit have His way and there’s no telling what God will do!

Boasting In Our Deliverance From Condemnation

Sermon Notes – Pastor Milton Vincent
March 18, 2012 – Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Romans 8:33-34

Paul has already affirmed that we are delivered from the reality of condemnation (Rom 8:1) to every charge- NOT GUILTY. This is the objective fact. Yet subjectively we may say we have not been delivered from condemnation because of the fears and forebodings, thoughts we often have regarding condemnation from God.

Courtroom in in . The Classical Revival courth...

Courtroom in in . The Classical Revival courthouse was built in 1890, and is listed in the . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are objectively delivered from condemnation on the day of our salvation, but subjectively we often don’t feel that way. Why?

-Satan: Rev. 12:10
-Others: Others pile condemnation on us and we slip “into the septic infection of condemnation.” (Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say ‘I Do’)
-Our own hearts: 1 John 3:20

No one can ever step forward and bring a legitimate charge against us that has not already been covered by Christ’s blood.


1. It is God who justifies us. (v. 33)
-God decides to think of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us.
-He declares us righteous in His sight.
-God does this! We cannot justify ourselves.
-Paul would say he doesn’t look to others or even himself, it is God who justifies. (1 Cor. 4:3-5)
-A Christian knows that he cannot justify himself. We would agree with all charges against us.

2. It is Christ who died for us. (v. 34)
-When we have a true encounter with the cross of Christ we realize that we have already been accused of the worst sin.
-The cross is a blunt instrument that God uses to show us our sin.
-We are violators of the 6th commandment (“You shall not murder.”). We killed Jesus. We are murderers of the Son of God.
-The essence of all sin ever committed is the murder of God.

“We finally see the very thing we dreaded to discover. At last we find out who we are. The cross brings us out of hiding. It breaks our denial but only in the very instant that it shows us the possibility of forgiveness.” -Becky Pippert

3. It is Christ who was raised from the dead after dying for us. (v. 34)
-The death of Christ is the purchase of our justification. The resurrection is the receipt. (See Rom. 4:25)
-God looked at His Son’s death and then at all of your sin and said (in a manner of speaking), “This death atones for all that sin.” We know this because Jesus rose from the dead.
-The resurrection proves and validates that His death was sufficient.

4. It is Christ who is at the right hand of God for us. (v.34)
-This One who died for me, who was raised for me, is the One that God has elevated to His very right hand. An incredible reality!
-The One who loved me so much He was willing to die for me is right now at the right Hand of God.
-The right hand of God is a:
Position of highest reward
Position of absolute Lordship and power over all.
Position of highest access to and influence with the Father.
-Feel the weight and blessing that the One who loved us more than anyone else could, God has elevated to His right hand!

5. It is Christ who intercedes for us. (v. 34)
-We have an advocate (lit.) “toward” the Father. (1 John 2:1)
-We need to appreciate that when we sin, our righteousness is in heaven-Jesus is at the right hand of the Father.

“If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear ten-thousand enemies who come against me. Nevertheless, distance makes no difference. ‘He ever liveth to make intercession for us.'” -Robert Murray McCheyne

-Appreciate that Paul is imagining people coming forward to condemn him before God. He does not look at his accusers but at God, and Christ who died, was buried, and rose again.
-For every look at yourself, give ten looks at God.
-Directed toward accusers who would cause us to think that God has changed His mind about our justification.

Romans 8:31 asks, “What then shall we say to these things…?” Don’t just read this, speak these truths out loud. Say these things along with the Apostle Paul.

Indications That God Is For Us, Part 3

Sermon Notes, Pastor Milton Vincent
February 26, 2012-Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church

Romans 8:28-30


First 4 points, Review:
1. God causes all things to work together for our good. (v.28)
2. God intentionally knew us long before we knew Him. (v.29)
3. God predestined us to be transformed into Christ’s image. (v. 29)
4. God predestined us to Christ-exalting community. (v. 29)

5. God effectually called us to salvation.

Effectual call: “an act of God the Father, speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel, in which He summons people to Himself in such a way that they [willingly] respond in saving faith.” (Wayne Grudem)

-God made our salvation happen.
-Whatever this call it:
is a call that goes to the predestined. (v. 30)
is a call that results in justification and glorification. (v. 30)
is a call that puts a person inside the promise of v. 28.
-There is a general Gospel call, but this is different.
-It is a powerful, life-giving call which when delivered accomplishes the very thing it calls forth from the recipient.
-See John 6:44, John 15:16 (not denying the called made a willing response)
-We cannot take credit for our salvation.
-See Rom. 1:16, 1 Cor. 1:24
-This effectual call is an indication that God is for us.
-God determined the day of your salvation before the foundation of the world.
-We did not choose God because we are better, smarter, more noble etc. than others.

6. God justified us.

Justification: “…an instantaneous legal act of God in which He, (1) decides to think of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in His sight.” (Wayne Grudem)

-The doctrine of justification shows God is for us.
-Justification primarily occurs in the mind of God as He decides to forever think of your sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as yours.
-God keeps your justification ever before His eyes.
-God never looks at us apart from our justification or thinks any thoughts about us that are not governed by our justification.
-We live in the good of Romans 5 because of our justification!
-It does not mean that we turn a blind eye to sin.
-The doctrine of justification gives us courage to look at our sin honestly because we know that it is God who has justified us.
-Romans 8:1 is what Paul reminded himself of when he was in Romans 7 seasons.
-Believe it! God paid a great price to show us His “for-ness.”

7. God will glorify us.

Glorification: All that God does by way of transforming us into the likeness of His Son, culminating in the raising and glorifying of our bodies at the resurrection.

-God has never justified anyone whom He won’t glorify.
-Justification + Glorification = Unbreakable chain.
-See 2 Cor. 3:18; We are being transformed from glory to glory
-See Rom. 3:23; 5:2; 8:17, 21
-He will bring it to pass that we will be glorified, body and soul.

But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor. 2:9

How Justified Ones Suffer

Sermon Notes/September 26, 2010
Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church/Pastor Milton Vincent 


Therefore, since we have  been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.   -Romans 5:1-8

1.  Keep exulting in your Justification during your tribulations (v. 1-3).
–  Tribulations: struggles, pressure, afflictions which distress the soul (Rom. 2:9; I Cor. 7:28; I Thess. 3:7)
–  We continue to exult in our Justification even in the midst of hardship.
–  Don’t let trials kill the joy you have in your Justification.
–  Paul was well acquainted with suffering. (Acts 9:16)
–  Paul describes his suffering. (2 Cor. 11:23-28)

2. Be exulting in the tribulations themselves, knowing that God is doing good to you through them (v. 3-5).
–  The Gospel is more than just a tiny piece of good news that fits into all of our trials.
–  There is a golden coin in the mouth of every trial.
–  Your Heavenly Father forces your trials to do good to you. He subjugates our trials to us and forces them to pay tribute to us.
–  God does not necessarily answer us immediately. God uses trials to give us something – endurance.  Notice that in verse 3, endurance is the first character quality mentioned. Endurance first, then the rest of the qualities.
–  In this life, we can even get what we hope for and be disappointed, but our hope in Glory will not disappoint!

“I have learned to kiss the wave that strikes me against the Rock of Ages.”  -Spurgeon

3.  Go to the cross and contemplate that Christ suffered, too.
–  Paul goes to the cross. Christ suffers to the ultimate extent all the way to the point of death. There is no pain we feel that He did not feel at the cross. We never suffer alone.

4.  At the cross, contemplate the suffering that Christ absorbed so you would not have to (v. 6).
–  So that we, the ungodly, would not have to suffer God’s wrath
–  There is suffering we don’t have to experience because He experienced it.
–  Christ spared us from what we deserve.
–  Be thankful for what God is NOT giving you (wrath). But then, be thankful and appreciate what He DOES give us…overflowing blessings in Christ.

5.  Wonder at your unworthiness of so great a love and so great a rescue (v. 6 & 7)!
–  Why me? Be amazed at what God has done for me, a sinner!




Job’s Dilemma and a Mystery Revealed

In Job chapter nine, Job expresses the anguish of his suffering by asking two questions and by touching upon the truth of man’s need for an arbiter.

…But how can a man be in the right before God? (v. 2)
 Job asks the question, “Is there anyone who is perfectly righteous before God?” The answer, of course, is an emphatic, no! Paul tells it like it is: …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… (Rom. 3:23). Salvation is a gracious gift from God; …this is not your own doing… (Eph. 2:8).

…If it is a matter of justice, who can summon Him? (v.19)
Who can contend with God? The man who attempts to justify himself before God is not only foolhardy, but guaranteed to fail. Justification is made possible because of the redeeming work of Christ on the cross (Rom. 3:24). By faith and through Christ is the only way to satisfy the judgment we deserve. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:1)

There is no arbiter between us who might lay his hand on us both. (v. 33)
We are at enmity with God and apart from God’s Grace we remain His enemies. But there is One who would bring peace, an arbiter, and that is Jesus Christ. Remember that you were…separated from Christ…having no hope and without God in the world…For He Himself is our peace…that He might…reconcile us…to God (Eph 2:12-15).

Job understood the profundity of man’s problem, but the mystery of God’s plan in the Gospel has now been revealed.

And you who were once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you heard…(Col. 1:21-23).

The answer to Job’s dilemma, and to our dilemma too, is found in the Gospel.

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel

Reading You Your Rights

Dear Reader,
This entry is quite long, but really worth reading and thinking about. I believe that the doctrine of Justification cannot be over-emphasized and when understood correctly, frees the recipient to live a life of joyful obedience before God. Also, these notes really do not do justice to Pastor Milton’s sermon. As soon as it is available on the CFBC website, I plan to listen to it again! File this this message under: “Life Changing Sermons”.

By His Grace and for the Gospel,

Sermon notes – Pastor Milton Vincent – September 19, 2010

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 
  – Romans 5:1-2

Six Rights that God gives to you now that you are  justified by God in Christ:

1.  You have the right to make a big deal about justification.
–  Justification is one of the first things Paul wants to talk about in his letter to the Romans. (See Rom. 1:17; righteousness=justification).
–  Paul takes 50+ verses to talk about Justification (Rom. 3:21 – 5:21).
–  If you remove Justification by faith, the church would die.
–  If you get the doctrine of Justification wrong, you get everything wrong.
–  Be a student of Justification. Make a big deal of it. Learn all you can about it.

2.  You have the right to rejoice in your Justification.
–  We exult (Rom. 5:2, 3, 11). All present tense. We continually exult (rejoice).
–  Take the time to gaze at Justification. Celebrate it.
–  If you exult in and gaze at Justification, you will catch yourself being sanctified.

“When we feed on, remember, and live in accordance with our justification, it mortifies our idols and fills us with an inner joy and desire to please and resemble our Lord through obedience.”   -Tim Keller

3.  You have the right to believe that Justification is yours since you have believed in Jesus.
–  Justification is an instantaneous, legal act of God in which He:
      a.  decides to forever think of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us AND
      b.  declares us to be righteous in His sight
–  Justification is largely in the mind of God and how He looks at us. Our sins are gone and He sees Christ’s righteousness as our own!
–  God binds Himself to this decree of Justification. He says (as it were), “I will never allow anything into your life or to come between us that is not governed by Justification.
–  We will never be able to self-generate Justification (i.e. good works).

How do we get Justification?
Justification is found in Christ (Rom. 3:24).
Justification is bought by Christ’s blood (Rom. 5:9 – costly!).
Justification is proved by His resurrection (Rom. 4:25).
Justification is acquired by faith (Rom. 5:1; 3:21, 22; 4:5).

4.  You have the right to enjoy peace with God as a result of your Justification.
–  See Rom. 5:1
–  With Justification comes peace and friendship with God.

5.  You have the right to believe you are under God’s Gracious favor at all times because of your Justification.
–  We can come into God’s presence (God, the KING and JUDGE of the universe!) through the entry point of Justification, but we never have to leave! (Rom. 5:2)
–  We get to live forever in God’s presence because of our Justification.
–  As a Justified one, you are always under God’s gracious favor.
–  God’s Grace is not only undeserved, but ill-deserved (meaning we deserve the opposite of His Grace and Justification).
–  Justification has NOTHING to do with our performance.
–  We cannot affect our Justified status by our performance, it is ALL GRACE!
–  We are under God’s favor all day, every day.
–  Jesus did it. He maintains it, completely and totally. Our job is to live and celebrate in our Justification.
–  Even on our best days we do not deserve our Justification. Even when we sin, our Justification remains intact. When we do sin, God favors us so much that He chastises and disciplines us. He only disciplines those he favors and loves (Heb. 12).

The doctrine of Justification rightly presented poses this question: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Rom. 6:1) The answer is: “By no means!” (Rom. 6:2) If we really understand, celebrate and believe the doctrine of Justification, it will make us run from sin and want to love and obey God.

6.  You have the right to exult in the hope of the Glory of God because of your Justification.
–  (See Rom. 5:2)
–  In Justification, we are caught up in exulting in God’s Glory as revealed in:
      a. creation (The heavens declare the glory of God…Psalm 19)
      b. the Gospel (2 Cor. 4)
      c. Christ’s coming (Mark 13:20)
      d. Our glorification (Col 3:4; Rom. 8:30). We will fully realize God’s plan for us.

Praise God for His gift of Justification! Amen!

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