Who We Are "In Christ"
In Search Of Our Identity (Part 9)
To be "justified" means to be "made right" with God... To be found "Not Guilty!" by the Good and Perfect Judge, God Himself! You see, every good judge must seek justice for all wrong doing. God is no different. Sin demands punishment. God MUST punish sin.
Our identity before coming to Christ was that of a sinner. As it says in Ephesians 2:3, "We were by nature objects of wrath." Having being born Jesus balanced the scales of justice... Justice demanded by a Holy Judge.into sin, we were cut off from the life of God. However, through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have been brought back into a "right relationship" with God. Because Jesus took all our sin, paid the price for it on the cross (our preparation unto salvation), and GAVE us HIS righteousness, we can now stand "justified" (found not guilty) before God!
Let's ask ourselves a few questions that requires a little honesty here if you don't mind.
- Have we ever looked upon a person with lust? I'll admit I have. So? According to God's Law, what does that make me? An adulterer.
- Have we ever stolen anything? I have. So what am I? A thief.
- Has anything ever been more important to me than God? There have been times in my life when God was last on my list. What does that make me? An idolater.
- Have we ever told a lie, no matter how "small" the lie? I'm guilty again. So what does that make me? A liar.
So by my own admission, I'm an adulterer, a thief, and idolater, and a liar.
Now let's say I stood before God for judgment. I know God is a loving, caring and forgiving God, and I am very, VERY sorry for what I've done. I'm so sorry for what I've done, I'm ready to promise never to do it again, and mean it!
So when I get before the Judge, I say, "Your Honor? I am guilty of all these things. I do not deny that. But I am very sorry for what I've done. Please forgive me. I promise I will NEVER do them again!". The Judge hears your plea, but being a good Judge, he cannot let your wrong doing go unpunished. There must be a sentence of punishment.
"You should be sorry for what you've done." the Judge says. "The price that must be paid for your transgressions... is death." Standing in the wake of your judgment, what will you do now?
Right then and there, in walks Someone that petitions the Judge on your behalf. "Your Honor? My name is Jesus. I take all the blame for the list of transgressions before you. I will give all that is required by the Law in order to pay the penalty in full." He then pays the price for your sin, satisfying the requirements of a perfect Law, and a Righteous Judge.
"Very well." says the Judge. ? Another has come forth and accepted the blame for these sins and paid the price for them. This Judge finds you not guilty. You are free to go." As you hear what has happened, and as the price is paid for your sin... How would that make you feel? How do you feel toward the One that accepted your blame as His own and paid your price? Folks? If that doesn't bring you to your knees in love and adoration for Christ, then you are totally missing the point, and quite honestly, you need to re-evaluate your situation, as it may well be you just "think" you're saved... If this doesn't move you with great compassion and appreciation, most likely you are not saved at all.
But wait? He paid the price... You're free to go... But where?
Through the first Adam's sin, mankind was left spiritually separated from God. Mankind inherited a "sin" nature, which guarantees you to be nothing more than a sinner. So? Two things had to be done in order for us to be saved... First we had to be justified before God. Jesus did that on the cross of Calvary. He took the blame for the sin of the world... every sin... and then He paid the Price for that sin... with His life's blood. Sadly, that's where the message of salvation stops in many pulpits across this globe. How sad, because it is an incomplete message. The price Jesus paid for our sin was our "preparation" for salvation... not salvation itself, because we are still spiritually "dead" so to speak, though our sin has been justified. Do you understand what I'm saying? Before the cross, we were two things: Sinners and dead. After the cross we are only one thing: Dead.
You see? Being "sorry" for what you've done and "doing good" from here on out, and begging for forgiveness isn't good enough to get salvation because even though the fine has been paid, you are still "dead". That is NOT salvation. You still need "LIFE"... You/WE still need LIFE!
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation." - Romans 5:8-11
Salvation can come only through the One that can give you life, as well as pay your fine. In the scripture above, three specific things are mentioned, each different from the other: (1) "Justification" by the sacrifice of Jesus; being (2) "Saved" by Jesus, and both of them together (justification and being saved) equals (3) "reconcilement" unto God through Jesus!
Jesus paid your fine over 2000 years ago, preparing us for salvation. The price Jesus paid for you can only be accounted on your behalf if Jesus "knows" you. And the only way He will "know" you is for you to invite Him into your heart and life, seeking and accepting the "life" He gives, demonstrated in His Resurrection from the Grave! You see, even if your sin has been paid for, you still need life! You STILL need LIFE! Jesus said only HE is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life!", John 14:6 .
So in short? Salvation is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, believing that He is the Son of God who died in payment for your sin (in fact, the sin of the "whole world" - EVERY sin) and THAT HIS payment was the ONLY payment that could pay such a price, and that He (Jesus) was resurrected unto life eternal and that He gives this life to all that seek (life) and accept HIM, of which personal repentance for who you are/were (a sinner) is a part of that acceptance of Christ! You cannot turn to Christ, without turning away from your old self. Seeking and receiving "LIFE” in Christ"? Now THAT'S salvation!
To be justified means to be made right with God. Our identity before coming to Christ was that of a sinner - we were objects of wrath according to Ephesians 2:3. Having been born into sin, we were cut off from the life of God. However, through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have been "brought back" into a right relationship with God! Because Jesus took all of our sin and gave us HIS righteousness, we stand justified before God! What an incredible Savior we have in Jesus! Amen!
Romans 5:18, "So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men."
What was the result of one man's sin according to the scripture above? Plainly It says condemnation for all men (and women) was the result of one man's sin. It affects everyone. No one is left out.
On the flip-side of that, what was the result of one act of righteousness? Again, very plainly, scripture says "justification that brings life to all men (and women)" was the result of Jesus' sacrifice for us all! How many people did it affect? Everyone!
Jesus was the only One that could perform this one act of righteousness. No one else was worthy. Through His Gift to us (the whole world), our sin has been justified. We, as born again believers, have been made "right" with God, by accepting Jesus' Gift (HIS Righteousness) to be counted on our behalf!
Titus 3:7, " ...so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. "
We have been justified by Grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:7-9). Once we become justified, we become "HEIRS WITH CHRIST!" Is that not amazing? Being an heir with Christ means we share in all things Christ has! How overwhelming to the human mind! And according to the scripture above, what is our hope my friends? What do we have to look forward to in the sharing of all this? It is eternal life! Amen! Eternal life! What a wonderful Savior we have in Jesus my friends and family! For through HIM all these things are possible! Without Him, we couldn't even dream of this!
Now there are those among us that would say I'm preaching universal salvation here. Well? Am I? Go back and re-read Romans 5:18... Doesn't it say that one act of righteousness justified"ALL" men? Dear friends? ... If the sacrifice of Jesus alone is salvation, then truly Romans 5:18 would tell us that everyone is already saved. The doctrine of universal salvation would be true! No ifs, ands, or buts. This is where I'd like to drive an uncomfortable reality for many people home, for many are taught in error: Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for the sin of the world (every sin that has been, or ever will be committed) alone is not salvation. It was our "preparation" for salvation. Through Jesus' work on the cross, salvation was made possible, in that the penalty for the sin of the world was paid.
But? As I hope we all come to understand, the Sacrifice for sin in itself is not the complete process to obtain salvation. We must also repent (Luke 13:3), believe in Jesus (John 3:15-16), and realize that JESUS ONLY offers us LIFE, to which we must receive ( Romans 5:16-18 ; Romans 6:23 ; Romans 8:11 ; 2 Corinthians 3:6 ; Colossians 3:3-4 ; 1Timothy 6:13 ; James 1:12 ; Romans 5:8-11 ) ! Friends? THIS is salvation! It includes loving Jesus, worshiping Jesus, adoring Jesus, wanting to please Jesus, obeying Jesus as best we can, listening to Jesus, having a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus, being committed to Jesus... ALL these things! All this will happen within the heart of a person once they really and truly accept Jesus into their hearts!
I can say that it was a very important thing to me when I realized I had eternal life in Jesus. As a matter of fact, it shocked me to realize how important it was to me. But friends? Beyond a shadow of a doubt, even if there were no such thing as Heaven or Eternal Life in Christ... even if I knew I would never make it to Heaven, I would still serve Jesus as best I can... simply because I love Him. I love Jesus just for Who He is... Can we all say that same thing? The reason I ask is because if the only reason we serve Jesus is for fire insurance, you may unwittingly find out you never had that fire insurance. There is more to turning to Jesus than just the insurance. In all reality? With Jesus, there is no such thing as "insurance". But there is such a thing as "assurance"! Jesus assures us that we will live forever with Him! Amen! How absolutely wonderful!
"There is more to turning to Jesus than just the insurance. In all reality? With Jesus, there is no such thing as 'insurance'. But there is such a thing as "assurance"!
Justification is a free gift to us as believers in Christ. I do hope we come to understand just what it means to be a "believer". Justification is not based on our abilities to observe the Law of God, though we will inevitably desire to do so (and we will fail to be perfect in our best of efforts). Justification can only be received by faith in what Christ did on our behalf.
" ...nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. " - Galatians 2:16
This wonderful scripture clearly tells us that no man will be justified by observing the Law. It also says that a person is justified ONLY through our faith in Jesus! We can't be justified by observing the Law, because we can't keep the Law! Oh yes friends. We want to... Some of us desperately want to because we love and adore our Savior, Jesus... but in all our best efforts... we fall short... What a wonderful Savior we have in that even through our imperfections, Jesus has saved us! HE has saved us! We are saved! Glory to God! We are saved!
Oh friends and family! Please listen here very closely... Please pray and ask the Holy Spirit Himself to place the Truth of the scripture above into your heart forever! Search this out for a Truth that will forever change your life and set you free in Christ Jesus!
What is this scripture in Galatians 5:4 above telling us? It is telling us that if we are trying to be justified by Law, then we have fallen away from Jesus ... in essence been "alienated" from Christ! Oh my God! Enable us to understand! When all this comes together in our hearts, minds and spirits, we should be able to understand there is absolutely no way we can try to be justified by the Law and, at the same time, rest in the fact that we have been justified by faith in Jesus Christ!
For those of us within the body of Christ that mis-understand or have been taught in error in that we try to be justified by the Law (our works), we very much need to realize that the Bible says we have "fallen from Grace" (Jesus Christ)! You see? That is how Jesus is there for us! That's why we call Him "Savior"! That's how He has SAVED us! HE, and only HE (Jesus Christ) has given us of Himself (Grace) !!!
"For those of us within the body of Christ that mis-understand or have been taught in error in that we try to be justified by the Law (our works), we very much need to realize that the Bible says we have "fallen from Grace" (Jesus Christ)!"
As plainly as the nose on our own faces, the Bible tells us here in Galatians 5:4 that when we try to mix Law and Grace (known as Galatianism) we have been ALIENATED from Jesus Christ and have FALLEN from Grace (Jesus Christ) ! So many people erroneously think to "fall from Grace" means you have lost your salvation, when in reality it means you are trying to "EARN" through your good works what Christ has already provided for you... GRACE!
Now I will leave that one point for you to ponder personally, but any way you look at it, that is some pretty strong verbiage from the Bible! In the context of Galatians 5:4 the term "fallen away" means to be alienated from God in terms of personal relationship and quite possibly your salvation because you are not relying on JESUS ONLY for your salvation, or you do not fully understand and acknowledge everything Jesus has already did for you! Some of us think we must continually hang and re-hang Jesus on that cross to get forgiveness of our sin, like what He did for us wasn't good enough the first time, or that what He did did not stand good for the sins of the future! What a horrible mis-understanding and effective wile of the enEmy, saTan! This mis-understanding only leads one around in a never-ending circle that leaves us only able to chase our own tail... With this understanding, you could never say, It's all Jesus!" Amen? Or "Oh me!"?
So, my friends... In light of the last two verses of scripture from the Holy Bible, does the Law play any role in our justification? Absolutely not. The Law can only serve to teach us we need a Savior! Titus 2:11-14
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ..." - Romans 5:1
My dear fellow believers in Christ... Can you say this from the very depths of your heart? Have you came to know Jesus in such a Way that He provides you an unshakable peace? Is He your Rock in the most trying times? Have you came to know that your salvation is HIS to keep and not YOURS to manipulate? Can you trust Jesus enough to know that when you're mad enough, mixed up enough, mis-taught enough, untaught enough that you don't know which way is up or down that HE is able to hold onto your salvation? Can you see that HE has said many times (in places we have yet not yet examined in this expose') that HE ONLY can be trusted with your salvation and that HE is faithful even though we are so unfaithful, despite our best (and even sometimes not-so-best) efforts? Realizing Who Jesus is... What He is... What He has said... What He has promised... THESE are the only things that will provide you with unwavering peace, my friend. Despite popular belief, THIS is a peace that can be fully understood by the children of God (Colossians 2:1-3). THIS understanding in Truth will bring you total peace in that It will calm ANY storm in your heart!
Should we still respect God? By all means, yes! If we don't hold a natural, heart deep respect for Him... Friends? You don't have God within you at all. BUT... as a believer in Christ, we don't have any reason to FEAR Him anymore, in the context that we need be AFRAID of Him... In all that God has said He is to us, and all that He has said we are to Him, what could we possibly have to be afraid of? Only the lost have anything to be afraid of... And what they have at stake is their eternal judgment as objects of wrath. Now THAT is something so terrible... something to be afraid of... so horrible, I don’t think we can begin to wrap our minds around it! How so very horrible it would be to spend an eternity in the Lake of Fire! Oh God! Deliver all who hearkens unto Your voice in answer to Your call~!
But... As children of God? Heirs to Jesus Christ Himself?
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. " - Romans 8:31-34
Thank You my precious Lord Jesus... Isn't all this wonderful Truth from our own treasured Holy Bible just exciting? Amen! Since we have been justified as born again believers in Christ, we are told that, "God is for us!" Glory to God only! Now if GOD is FOR us, it doesn't matter who or what is against us, does it? NO! Glory to God only! Can anyone now accuse you? Only saTan will now try, but even he will be ineffective! Glory to God only! Since God Himself has declared us totally righteous, does it matter what saTan or anyone else says? No one stands against God! It doesn't matter one iota!
"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His Grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;" - Romans 3:23-24
How many people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? Every one of us! Every human being that has ever been, save Jesus Christ, Himself! According to this blessed holy scripture, these same people are justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ! Glory to God alone! Only Jesus Himself can offer this redemption, therefore the only glory to be had in all this belongs to Jesus Christ! Glory to God alone! If each and every one of us are justified in the very same way, this will definitely affect the way we see others, will it not? There will be none any better than the other... no worse than any other... all of us saved the very same way... through Christ ALONE! Glory to God alone!
Friends? Being made right with God, or said another way, justified, not only affects our relationship with God, but also our relationship with others. Your right-standing before God "frees" you to enjoy that perfect fellowship with Him. It is much easier to be at peace with man when you know you are at peace with God. Amen & Amen.
I do hope and pray that each and everyone is taking Joy learning of who we are in Christ. For me? There is an excitement lit within me that is unquenchable! I learn daily of yet something else Jesus has provided for us. With every new horizon reached in understanding, there lay yet another far-off horizon to reach! I am fully convinced than when God tells us He is eternal, He was not only speaking of time, He was speaking of His essence... I truly believe there to be no end to the knowledge and wisdom of God...
I do hope you continue to journey with me in the expose', in that the next topic I have planned in Part 10 is, "You Are A Part Of The Body Of Christ"! Chances are there will be some things exposed you maybe didn't stop to realize before. I know it has been an eye-opening adventure for me!
God bless you all as you take the time in prayer and study to discover more about the overwhelming victory available to us in the Truth of God's Revelation!