What Does It Mean To Be
"Justified by Faith?"
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
II Cor. 3: 18
Article 22: The Righteousness of Faith
We believe that for us to acquire the true knowledge of this great mystery the Holy Spirit kindles in our hearts a true faith that embraces Jesus Christ, with all his merits, and makes him its own, and no longer looks for anything apart from him. For it must necessarily follow that either all that is required for our salvation is not in Christ or, if all is in him, then he who has Christ by faith has his salvation entirely. Therefore, to say that Christ is not enough but that something else is needed as well is a most enormous blasphemy against God- for it then would follow that Jesus Christ is only half a Savior. And therefore we justly say with Paul that we are justified "by faith alone" or by faith "apart from works." However, we do not mean, properly speaking, that it is faith itself that justifies us- for faith is only the instrument by which we embrace Christ, our righteousness. But Jesus Christ is our righteousness in making available to us all his merits and all the holy works he has done for us and in our place. And faith is the instrument that keeps us in communion with him and with all his benefits. When those benefits are made ours they are more than enough to absolve us of our sins.
Are you living your Christian faith or your worldly doubts?
As Christians, we are constantly being transformed into the image of Christ. In the beginning we were created in the image of God.
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Gen. 1: 26
Sin corrupted that image. In Christ, that lost image is being restored.
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
II Cor. 5: 7
When we walk by the faith God has given us, we begin to see ourselves as our Heavenly Father sees us in Christ. We see ourselves as saints - those "set apart" by God:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
II Cor. 5: 17
Our old, sinful nature keeps telling us "there is no God; no salvation; no hope. This life, this world, is all there is. Eat, drink, and be merry, because some day you are going to die."
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
Rom. 8: 5-6
As Christians, we have a choice: live according to the flesh or live according to the Spirit. Live your faith or live your fears. Trust God or trust yourself. See yourself as a new creation in Christ, or see yourself as the world sees you apart from Christ.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Rom. 12: 1-2