Ok, it is probably a word that sounds so incredibly boring and monotonously dull. But, it is the word you get to hear me “publicly meditate” upon! This theme of justification has been sort of stalking me around and getting me to gaze into the absolute splendor of such an unfortunately mundane sounding word.
Consider this: you were at one point deaf, blind, dead in your sins. You didn’t even realize a problem. Then, God’s majestic holiness somehow filled the frame of your darkness and you were stunned by the utter perfection you beheld in Him. You heard the thunder of Sinai say, “Ye must be holy as I AM is holy.”
You really did. HARD!
And every attempt only showed you the futility of your efforts! Your best works were wicked, because, well, to put it bluntly: you were wicked! Then, your ears began to ring with a symphony of grace, and you beheld Jesus; He was foreshadowed in an entire history of a people group named the Israelites, He was born as a vulnerable human child, lived a perfect life, died a cruel death at the hands of darkness, according to the Sovereign plan and will of God, and rose from the dead to show that “[…] he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (1Cr 15:25-26 KJV).” He became (okay another big, boring-sounding word) YOUR propitiatory! That means…He was in YOUR stead. As Ian Thomas would say, “the life He lived qualified Him for the death He died. But the death He died qualifies you exclusively for the life He lived.”
How astounding is THAT?!
But here’s the truly extraordinary fact, all of that does us no good until we take it by faith. Our works remain wicked, until we are made righteous! And so, He proclaims to us “You are justified freely by my grace. And you will be saved by grace through faith, and this IS NOT of yourselves, it is my gift to you.” When you realize that, repent of your Adam-like nature (meaning forced conformity to wickedness), confess your allegiance to darkness, and then believe it as truth you are justified! And when you are justified, do you know what THAT means? I’ll let Luther shed some light on this: Moreover, He giveth unto such a faith His Spirit, which changes the man and makes him anew, giving him another reason and another will. Such a one worketh nothing but good works. Wherefore nothing is required unto justification but to hear Jesus Christ our Savior, and to believe in Him.
Whoa…careful there Luther! 🙂
Do you see it? When you believe Jesus Christ as the sufficient sacrificial substitute for YOU, then you are justified, and the result is an absolute overhaul of your life, thinking, doing, behaving, laughing, eating, breathing, singing, working, serving, fasting, praying, etc. And don’t forget all the benefits of this legal stamp of Justification. Read the “fine print!” You are enabled to enter INTO Christ, whereby, He is faithful and just to forgive you, wash you, cleanse your guilty conscience, protect you, make His righteousness YOURS, bring you to the Father, His death and burial deals with your flesh, His resurrection gives you a new birth, and His ascension seats you with Him in heavenly places. What’s more, He enters into the Holy of holies and you enter with Him to obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need. He brings you into the very presence of Joy Forevermore. He makes you a partaker of His nature, thereby making you a son or daughter with binding legal rights to your inheritance. And do you know what that inheritance is? The very spirit of Christ indwelling YOU! In my humble opinion, that is lightyears away from boring!