Selected Comments from the “Justification” panel discussion today at the Together for the Gospel conference:
We can get a problem when we use terms from the Bible as jargon:
We say “saved” “salvation”, but the Bible uses every tense (past, present, future) of the Greek word, so salvation applies to all of redemption from justification to santification to glorification, but we often confusingly use the word salvation when we mean justification.
We are getting into trouble because evangelicals are starting to use the word justification the way the Romans use it. (Sproul)
Evangelicalism today is largely antinomian in its morality, and people are trying to redress the problem by redoing the doctrine of justification, as if the doctrine is the cause of our current low morality (which it is not).
The biggest issue for most churches is easy-believism, where decisional evangelism gives you a false promise and a false assurance, where justification is assumed.
If the average evangelical pastor would be held captive by terrorists and would need to give an adequate definition of to escape alive, well, we’d have a lot of dead pastors. —Mohler
I preached a sermon on Romans 12:1-2 entitled “Don’t give your heart to Jesus; He wants more than that!” —Duncan
Salvation gets reduced to an emotional experience which is mere affection for Jesus; there is nowhere in the Scripture that we are saved by mere affection for Jesus. —Mohler
Pastors reduce the gospel to its most emotional and affective dimensions, and rob it of its objective reality. –Mohler
Whatever text you’re preaching, make a bee-line to the Cross. —Spurgeon
The first most widespread pervsersion of the doctrine of justifcation in this culture is “justification by death”— once I die God will justify and accept me.
The second most widespread perversion is “justification by works”— our congregations still are trying to earn their way into heaven. —Sproul
Who’s afraid of the wrath of God when we preach that God loves us unconditionally? —Sproul
Sin and the wrath of God go together; you can’t have a Biblical doctrine of sin without the wrath of God. –Mohler
Most of the people who soft-pedal sin think the sin problem is a problem without, and not a problem within. –Mohler
I can’t even think of having a conversation about justification with most televangelists even though they would call themselves evangelicals. —Dever
“We believe in sin, but it’s not a big deal, Jesus already took care of that on the Cross, we want to focus on people having a dynamic life now.” —quote from televangelist
But on the day of judgement, that message will evaporate, sin has got to be a part of the message. —Duncan
People have a stilted view of sin. We have a responsibility to show the ugliness of sin. Start with the misery that sin brings, then bring it back to the sin, and show how that sin looks to God. —-Duncan
If you look back to the Puritans, they preached sin to believers, they preached mortification, and that is missing now. —Mohler
“sin was a problem, but now it’s not because I’m in grace”— the typical attitude of evangelicals now —Mohler
Pastors think there must be a light tone thoughout the message which makes it impossible to discuss serious matters such as sin. —Dever
We read one of the Commandments each Sunday at our church. The Law drives us the Cross, and continues to reveal to us what is pleasing to God and shows us His character. –Sproul
Each member at our church has to take five vows including one admitting that he is a sinner without hope and that Christ is his only hope. —Duncan
The most insignificant sin that has ever been committed would ruin the entire cosmos, for it would mar the perfection that God created to reflect His glory. We steal God’s glory by every sin. We do not grasp the weight of our sin.
Until we can bring home the ugliness of sin, Satan has another weapon in his locker. —Duncan
The single most important thing I do to awaken people to the gravity of sin is to increase their understanding of the character of God. –Sproul
Hybels polled people and found people left church because they were bored; well, there is no record in the Bible of anyone personally encountering God and being bored. Our job is to present God in the fullness of His character. –Sproul
One of the most effective evangelistic series our church has ever done is when I preached through everyone that God executed for sin. —Mahaney