Justification by Faith – Example 1: David

Justification by Faith- Example 1: David 
Sermon Notes August 22, 2010
By Joshua Winslett

Romans 3:27-31, 4:1-8

Justification Defined

– Biblically speaking, justification means to declare righteous, as a judge would declare a defendant innocent after being proven thus. It does not mean to make righteous or to impute righteousness. You have to be innocent or made innocent before you can be justified (declared righteous).

Legal justification recap

-Legal Justification (justification before the throne of God) only comes through the grace (meritless favor) of God. No actions by man can indebt God to justify a single person. It is all by grace!

Justification by Faith?

-Justification by faith is a glorious and often misunderstood biblical principle. “Sola Fide” is often used by “theologians” to describe Justification by faith. Sola Fide is Latin, it means: “by faith alone”. When theologians say sola fide, they generally mean that we have eternal life given to us, by the new birth, when we believe in Jesus. There is a big problem with that; we are told in countless places that we are “justified freely by his grace.” If it is by grace alone, then it cannot be accomplished by anything else, including faith. Grace and works (man’s action) do not mix.

David’s Example

-Was this when David was born again? No!

-The example of David being justified by faith is derived from Psalms 32. Psalms 32 is traditionally viewed to be after David sinned with Bathsheba. This event happened in 2 Samuel 11. Yet God told Samuel when he was choosing the next king of Israel, in 1 Samuel 16, to look at the heart and not the outward appearance. From this we can conclude that David’s heart was already made righteous prior to being justified by faith. Why else would God tell Samuel to look at David’s heart?

-Also notice that Psalms 32:6 states that the godly will pray this prayer, not someone that is dead in trespasses and in sins, but someone who God has already regenerated by his Spirit. “Justification by faith” only applies to those who have already been born again!

-If “justification by faith” and the” new birth” is not the same thing, then what did David experience?

-After David sinned, he felt great remorse. Psalms 32:4, “For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.”

-David’s remorse and Nathan’s reproach led David to repentance (2 Samuel 12)

– After David repented he experienced a conscious understanding of God’s forgiveness of his sins. He was declared righteous (justified) in the court room of his own conscience.

-Illustration: A poor man owes a large debt to a bank. A rich man goes to the bank and indemnifies the poor man of all debt. The poor man has no knowledge of the rich man’s good gesture and is still filled with fear because of the debt that he believes he owes. The poor man finally gets enough unction to go to the bank. Once at the bank, a banker tells the poor man that his debt has already been paid. He is now declared free from debt in his own conscience.

-In like manner justification by faith does not pay for our sin debt; it declares us free from our sin debt in our own conscience.


– The object of our faith is not our faith; it is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When we believe the gospel, it should make us free from any sorrow we have from sins of the past. When we see ourselves as sinners and realize that there is nothing in us of any good, we can look to the cross knowing that if we understand ourselves to be sinners, then Jesus has already cleansed us from ALL sin. Justification by faith is in essence the realization that our debt to God has already been paid by Jesus Christ. Praise God for this knowledge!

Primary verse references used during Sunday service:
Romans 3:27-31, 4:1-8
Psalms 32
1 Samuel 16:1-13
2 Samuel 11, 12:1-13

Note: This is not an exhaustive outline of the entire sermon. This is only the cliff notes.
Sermon preached at Antioch PBC on 8/22/10 by Elder Josh Winslett

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