The Gift of Justification

Brent Aucoin December 10, 2017 1 Samuel 17-18:4
Outline

The various gifts that we are discussing during the Christmas season are all part of the systematic theology category theologians call “Soteriology”—the doctrine of salvation

In the Scriptures, God gives more attention to King David of Israel than any other figure except Jesus Christ. In some way God intended the person of King David to lay foundational patterns for our understanding of the person and work of Christ

5 aspects of God’s redemptive plan illustrated in the story of David and Goliath that lay foundations for understanding “justification”

Justification: God’s pronouncement of “righteous” upon the unrighteous who by faith are united to God’s “servant/champion of righteousness,” Jesus Christ, that permits the unrighteous to be with God forever

Question: In the account of David and Goliath, which character are we most like most of the time?  David, Goliath, or the Israelites?

Question: If you are like the Israelites, how is your victory won in the valley of the shadow of death?

I. Your Victory in the Valley of the Shadow of Death Is Dependent upon an Unexpected “Servant/Champion” of God’s Choosing

A. Unexpected by the world’s standards

1 Samuel 17:33 - Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth

B. First a servant then a champion

1 Samuel 17:32 - Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

The Israelites were victorious because their unexpected, servant representative was victorious.

II. Your Victory in the Valley of the Shadow of Death Is Dependent upon the Righteousness of Another

A. The people’s lack of faith

1 Samuel 17:11 - When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

1 Samuel 17:24 - When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were greatly afraid.

B. David’s heart of faith

1 Samuel 17:32, 37, 46-47 - …“Let no man’s heart fail on account of him (Goliath); your servant will go and fight with this Philistine…The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine…This day the Lord will deliver you (Goliath) up into my hands...and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.”

The Israelites had to depend upon the righteousness of their unexpected servant/champion when they had none

III. Your Victory in the Valley of the Shadow of Death Is Dependent upon Your Faith in God’s “Servant/Champion”

1 Samuel 18:3-4 - Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt.

By faith, Jonathan abandoned his position and his own failing righteousness to trust in God’s choice of servant/champion

IV. Your Victory in the Valley of the Shadow of Death through God’s Champion/Servant Who Took Your Reproach and Removed It from You

A. David’s concern—the reproach of Israel

1 Samuel 17:26 - Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel?

B. David bore undeserved reproach

1 Samuel 17:42-43 - When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him…And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

God’s servant/champion bore un-deserved shame and disgrace when delivering Israel from her reproach

V. Your Victory in the Valley of the Shadow of Death through God’s Champion/Servant Is the Basis for Your Boldness in the Lesser Battles of Life.

1 Samuel 17:52 - The men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley

God’s servant’s/champion’s victory empowered and emboldened all of Israel

The Doctrine of Justification (Rom 3:21–26)

  • Because of humanity’s intrinsic unrighteousness, the only way to be in God’s presence is through God’s act of justification
  • Justification is His judicial declaration of the unrighteous to be  “righteousness” on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ’s righteousness
  • Justification is the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the believer
  • The opposite of justification is condemnation (Rom 8:1, 33-34)
  • The declaration of “righteous” necessarily includes forgiveness (Rom 4:6-8)
  • Justification is only just when the shame we deserved had a just satisfaction by God’s standards—Jesus born our shame and God’s wrath (propitiation)
  • Justification is the basis for and inseparably connected to progressive sanctification, the believer’s growth (Rom 6-8)
  • Justification understood must result in the most satisfying joy and rejoicing (Rom 5:1-11)

Think through what for you is one of the most inspiring moments in film history

In the 1960’s film, Spartacus, when under the Roman defeat the slaves in defiant unity proclaim, “I am Spartacus” in solidarity with the slave gladiator Spartacus.

Perhaps the triumphant run of Olympian Eric Liddell as portrayed in the movie Chariots of Fire.

Maybe it is when Andy Dufresne escapes the Shawshank State Penitentiary through the sewer and comes out a free man as the rain washes away the fifth covering him in Shawshank Redemption.

As we approach the Christmas season, maybe the final scenes in “It’s a wonderful life when Jimmy Stewart comes to the realization of what has been most important in life and how his service to others really impacted the neighbors

I know what you all are thinking mine might be—when Luke Skywalker blows up the Death Star in Star Wars. However, I hate to disappoint you. That is not it!

This is it for me…on mount doom and Frodo has no strength left in him from his carrying the burden of the corrupting ring of power.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=tqJGPzAwyV8

When there was no strength left, another had to carry Frodo to the final destination.

Frodo would not have made it on his own. He had to be dependent upon another.

Our theme this year has been In Christ Alone…and so we thought at Christmastime, we would study…Gifts that Comes from Being in Christ

The various gifts that we are discussing during the Christmas season are all part of the systematic theology category theologians call “Soteriology”—the doctrine of salvation

Last week P. Viars discussed “The Gift of Regeneration”

This morning we’d like to look at The Gift of Justification

At Faith East today Pastor Green is speaking about the Gift of adoption

You will hear that on December 17th.

Next week, please invite your friends to our Christmas Musical here at Faith West.

The richness of Christmas music sourced in the redemptive plan of God is so hope inspiring.

That is the point of Christmas—God’s salvation comes to earth.

Now look at these verses on your handout and on PPT. These verses are all from the Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke.

Please notice a repeated theme that I have underlined for you.

 (Heather, these should be on PPT but not in the handout)

Luke 1:32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

Luke 1:68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, . . .69 (He) has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant.

Luke 2:4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, .., to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,

What is the common repeated emphasis?  David!

God’s salvation in Jesus Christ at Christmas is inseparably related to God’s previous promises and work in the person of king David of Israel as recorded in what is known as the Old Testament.

In the Scriptures, God gives more attention to king David of Israel than any other figure except Jesus Christ. In some way God intended the person of king David to lay foundational patterns for our understanding of the person and work of Christ. 

With that in mind, let’s turn to 1 Samuel 17—the famous story of David and Goliath.

That is on p. 214 of the front section, the OT, in the bible in the chair in front of you.

We are studying this passage to show patterns that will illustrate the principles of justification in Christ.

Whether or not you can say the word Justification or know what it means, most of you have heard the story of David and Goliath.

David as a young, unassuming boy, trusting the Lord, kills the mean bad giant, Goliath without anything but a slingshot and a stone.

Most of us look to this portion of scripture to gain examples of courage and trust that David modeled—and I would say rightly so.

However, there are more details to the story that can illustrate for us a bit more about God’s redemptive plan and why this is not only a story about courage facing an obstacle.

1 Samuel 17—let’s start in verse 3.

      3The Philistines stood on the mountain on one side while Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with the valley between them. (Notice the valley, David would later write about the valley of the shadow of death) 4 Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.5He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was clothed with scale-armor which weighed five thousand shekels of bronze. (the description of his high tech impressive armor goes on for verses 6-7)..…Jump to verse 8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said to them, “Why do you come out to draw up in battle array? Am I not the Philistine and you servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me.9“If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will become your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall become our servants and serve us.”10 Again the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.”

What you see here is a different type of battle style “representative battle”

Goliath the champion says, no need for everybody else to fight, you chose a man and come fight me.

Whoever wins then that team will win…whoever loses then that team loses.

Sound strategy, knowing that there is no man as big or decked out like ironman Goliath among the Israelites.

So the fate of one is the fate of all.

Verse…11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine; they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

20 So David arose early in the morning and left the flock (David was a shepherd boy)… 23 As he was talking with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine from Gath named Goliath, was coming up from the army of the Philistines, and he spoke these same words; and David heard them.24When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were greatly afraid….26Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? . . . .32 David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”33Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.”. . . 37And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” . ... .40David took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, . . ..41Then the Philistine came on and approached David, with the shield-bearer in front of him.42 When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance.43The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods... 46 “This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, . . .47and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.”. . .49And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.50Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, ….52The men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley…18:1Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself...3Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt.

Five aspects of God’s redemptive plan illustrated in the story of David and Goliath that lay foundations for understanding “justification”

Let me state the definition of Justification first.

Justification: God’s pronouncement of “righteous” upon the unrighteous who by faith are united to God’s “servant/champion of righteousness,” Jesus Christ, that permits the unrighteous to be with God forever.

Question: In the account of David and Goliath, which character are we most like most of the time?  David, Goliath, or the Israelites?

Review Question: What were the repeated connections in Luke’s Gospel Christmas story—Christ was from the lineage of David.

David is more like the Christ figure….who wins the victory

Question: If you are like the Israelites, how is your victory won in the valley of the shadow of death?

I am using the metaphor of “the valley of the shadow of death” here for a couple of reasons.

First, David uses that metaphor to describe the near death experiences he had as a shepherd in the famous Psalm 23 and

Secondly,

David faces the reality of death here in the valley.  Although we didn’t read it, Goliath says, he is going to feed David to the dogs..

Who knows Psalm 23 could have been a reflection upon David’s experience with Goliath combined with all of the experiences he had as a shepherd.

For all of us, however, physical death is one thing, eternal death separation from God, in Hell, is infinitely more significant.

Where will you spend eternity when you face the valley of the shadow of death?

 

So for just a moment, suspend your imagination that you are like David.

Engage reality that you and I are like the trembling, fearful Israelites under reproach needing deliverance from slavery.

And How is your victory over the valley of the shadow of death won?

You as the fearful trembling Israelite…cowering being enslaved by the Philistines….How will you obtain victory?

With that in mind the first aspect of God’s redemptive plan illustrated in the story that helps us understand justification is….

 

I.                   Your victory in the valley of the shadow of death is dependent upon an unexpected “servant/champion” of God’s choosing

 

Your victory over death, your ability to be in the presence of God, and dwell with God forever is dependent upon an unexpected “servant/champion” of God’s choosing.

It’s not dependent upon you.

We needed someone on whom we are dependent.

Someone…

A.     Unexpected by the world’s standards

Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth

The contrast between the 20-year veteran Philistine warrior, Army Sniper, Navy seal, Avengers Ironman name Goliah, and David, the teen shepherd with a sling shot could hardly be more stark and unexpected.

And that is the point, David was an unexpected chosen one who lived in dependence upon God not upon what the world lives in dependence upon.

Even King Saul in an earlier passage of Scripture was described as a physically tall and strong man. That is why the people chose Saul to be king…but when the next bigger and taller man who opposed their big and tall man ...they were fearful.

When you depend upon earthy resources, you will fear and stumble when someone threatening you has more earthly resources.

That was not David….David was unexpectedly unconcerned about earthly power, strength, riches, royalty, weaponry.

Furthermore he was 

B.      First a servant then a champion

Did you notice how none of the Israelites pronounces, “And now in this corner, the champion of Israel, who has slain thousands with the prowess of his sword and the strength of his bulging chest muscles and biceps—David the teen shepherd with a few stones.”

Nobody proclaims David a worldly champion at all.

While the title of “champion” is given to Goliath. there is only one title given to David…from his own mouth.

Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine

The victory of God’s people was secured not by a champion championing His power, status, riches, weaponry, but a servant willing to serve them dependent upon God.

It is not hard to see Jesus here is it my friend…the unexpected servant

  • Not born in a palace
  • Not wrapped in royal robes but rags
  • Not born in the sprawling capital city but the no-name town of Bethlehem
  • Not eye-candy for the masses…but an unexpected servant who came to serve.

If we are like the Israelites in this passage…or, if we are like Frodo on mount doom…what did we need…a representative to fight the battle for us to serve on our behalf and win, or a Samwise Gangee to carry us…we will not face the ultimate valley of death by our own doing.

  • The Israelites were victorious because their unexpected, servant representative was victorious.

Friends, think through just a bit what our year end activities represent.

Christmas for everyone what does it represent?  giving instead of consumeristic taking from people…could that lead to a conversation about another unexpected Servant—Christ.

Portraying a message of hope in a Christmas musical that is not about performance but about an unexpected person.

Your unexpected smiles, greetings, service in the Living Nativity, may go a long way to introduce someone to God’s unexpected Servant, Jesus Christ.

The Northend CC (thank you for your commitments to the seeming more clearly campaign) what is the NE CC all about going in to serve….not to take…unexpected….

The second aspect is….

II.                Your victory in the valley of the shadow of death is dependent upon the righteousness of another.

Did you see the clear contrast in…

A.     The people’s lack of faith

When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid

When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were greatly afraid

And,

B.      David’s heart of faith,

“Let no man’s heart fail on account of him (Goliath); your servant will go and fight with this Philistine…The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine…This day the Lord will deliver you (Goliath) up into my hands...47and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.”

David’s words are an amazing testimony to his trust in God.

Imagine living that way every day.

  • You would love people without fear
  • You would serve without thinking what it is going to cost you
  • You would give without fear of loss, because you are simply trusting.
  • You would face the most difficult, security threatening  earthly circumstances without resorting to selfishly looking out for yourself.
  • And in doing so, you would always do the right thing…
  • you would be living to simply love God and others…that is God’s righteousness.

That is what David demonstrated here at one point in his life.

God used David’s righteousness to rescue David’s people.

In the valley of the shadow of death, David manifested God’s righteousness WHILE the people feared the valley of the shadow of death and failed in their faith and fled. 

When the son of David, Jesus was facing his own valley of the shadow of death, He maintains his righteous faith as he crises out on the cross “My God, My God” in a cry of loyalty to his Father.

  • The Israelites had to depend upon the righteousness of their unexpected servant/champion when they had none.

On occasion, as pastors we have the privilege of ministering to people on their death bed, --literally in the valley of the shadow of death. And over the years, it has been so refreshing to see believers steadfast in the face of death…not terrified…because they have confidence not in their own righteousness that will usher them into heaven, but Jesus righteousness.

The third aspect is…

 

III.             Your victory in the valley of the shadow of death is dependent upon your faith in God’s “servant/champion”

I read the beginning parts of 1 Samuel 18 about David and Jonathan for one primary reason.

Remember, David, had not been king at this point. King Saul had been.

Who was the heir to the throne?

Not David but King Saul’s son (Jonathan)

Jonathan is the would be king not David!

But Jonathan, does this…

3Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt.

Jonathan, stripping himself of his royal robes and armor and putting them on David was an act of what?

What do you think the covenant was about?

The covenant was about Jonathan’s commitment to transfer his right to rule to David as indicated by the transferal of princely royal robes and armor.

Folks this is an astounding act of faith in God’s chosen King. 

Jonathan says, “I’m not the future King” you are to David.

Jonathan has faith in God’s word that God’s chosen would be the rightful king

Furthermore, Jonathan sees the righteousness of God in David.

Remember Jonathan was there when Goliath was taunting Israel.

Jonathan himself did not stand up and handle Goliath

Jonathan’s act is one of faith placed in God’s Messiah or chosen one, David, that manifested God’s righteousness when he Jonathan, had none. 

For you my friends, do you understand that you must transfer your dependence upon your own standing before God to the one that God has chosen…

  • By faith, Jonathan abandoned his position and his own failing righteousness to trust in God’s choice of servant/champion. 

 

IV.            Your victory in the valley of the shadow of death through God’s champion/servant who took your reproach and removed it from you.

Did you notice part of the reason for David’s stepping forward for Israel?

A.     David’s concern—the reproach of Israel

26Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel?

The term reproach in Hebrew refers understandably to shame and disgrace.

David wanted to step forward to remove the shame and disgrace of His people.

Did you also notice what happens when the only one who unashamedly and without disgrace stepped forward to challenge Goliath?

What did he receive?

Shame and disgrace.

B.      David bore undeserved reproach

42When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for. . And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

  • God’s servant/champion bore un-deserved shame and disgrace when delivering Israel from her reproach.

Again, in this story, we are more like the Israelites, cowards, deserving the shame and disgrace.

How will you rid yourself of your shame and disgrace…?

You need another who didn’t deserve it to take it and deliver you.

The fifth aspect that helps illustrate Justification is….

V.               Your victory in the valley of the shadow of death through God’s champion/servant is the basis for your boldness in the lessor battles of life.

Notice what happens after David wins the war against Goliath

52The men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley

 

  • God’s servant’s/champion’s victory empowered and embolden all of Israel.

When the real victory was won, the Israelites had the strength to clean up the remaining messes…

What are the messes in your life? Where are you looking to clean up the mess of enslaving sin? 

Now, friends, I laid all of that out so that we might understand a bit better God’s Justification.

If you will now, please turn to page 120 in the NT to Romans 3:21

God’s Justification summarized in Rom 3:21-26

      21  But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

      22  even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

      23  for all ahave sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

      24  being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

      25  whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation bin His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

      26  for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

The Doctrine of Justification (Rom 3:21–26)

  • Because of humanity’s intrinsic unrighteousness, the only way to be in God’s presence is through God’s act of justification.
  • Justification is His judicial declaration of the unrighteous to be  “righteousness” on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ’s righteousness
  • Justification is the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the believer.
  • The opposite of justification is condemnation (Rom 8:1, 33-34)
  • The declaration of “righteous” necessarily includes forgiveness (Rom 4:6-8)
  • Justification is only just when the shame we deserved had a just satisfaction by God’s standards—Jesus born our shame and God’s wrath (propitiation).
  • Justification is the basis for and inseparably connected to progressive sanctification, the believer’s growth (Rom 6-8).
  • Justification understood must result in the most satisfying joy and rejoicing (Rom 5:1-11)

You are in Romans 3 look on the same page to Romans 5:1

Romans 5:       1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3         And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;     4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us

Exultation…if all of this is true no wonder, when the baby Jesus, son of David, servant to be champion, came to accomplish the basis of our justification, then what results is some of the the most richest, joyful music that has ever been written.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah….Joy to the World

What is your response to the gift of justification?

      


Brent Aucoin

M.S. - Engineering, Purdue University
M.Div. - Central Baptist Seminary
Th.M. - Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Ph.D. - Baptist Bible Seminary

Pastor Brent Aucoin and his wife, Janet, came on staff in July of 1998.  Pastor Aucoin serves as overseer of Faith Seminary and Soul Care Ministries at Faith Church.

View Pastor Aucoin's Salvation Testmony Video