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Devotional - week of January 17, 2010


JUSTIFIED BY WORKS

 

And I know that I will not be ashamed. He is near who justifies Me … Isaiah 50:7b-8a

These verses are in one of four servant passages in the Book of Isaiah. The servant, Jesus, is saying that His Father will be in control of His reputation. The Father will justify Him in the eyes of others. He certainly did not need to be justified to become God’s child as we did.

This usage of “justified” explains the statement in James 2:21, 23.

 

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?   And he was called the friend of God.

 

Abraham was justified—thought by others to be righteous—by works because he was called the friend of God. We all need to be asking ourselves if we are being justified—thought to be Christians—by those who know us.

 

Joshua 6:25 says of Rahab the harlot, “And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father's household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.” James 2:25 then says of Rahab:

 

Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

 

In John14:10, Jesus said that the works He did were the works of the Father being done through Him. When we live out our oneness with Christ, God the Son will work through us. As Jesus “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38) in His earthly life, He continues to do the same in and through our lives.

 

When this happens, people will know that we are Christians. We will be justified—declared to be righteous—by others.