Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Scripture Study: The Holiness of Our Absolutely Sovereign God

Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished. And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire- and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sung the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear O Lord, and glorify your name? For You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.

 (Revelation 15:1-4)

    We fail in our mission of worship when we do not give God the glory His name is due. By attempting to reveal His holiness in the manner as those of this world view holiness we sell our Absolutely Sovereign God short in our worship of Him. God is not a man and is thus not holy as men count holiness (Habakkuk 11:9). God is the essential essence of holiness. He is holy and He alone exhibits perfect holiness.

    Because our Sovereign God is unique in all His ways there is nothing by which He can be compared except Himself. Thus we see Him in Amos 4:2 swearing by His holiness because nothing else approaches His standard of excellence. God’s holiness implies a moral spotlessness, a freedom from every evil thought, intent, action, and motive. He is the epitome of wholeness and perfection in holiness. God’s holiness originates from His unique character. There is none like Him in all the earth (Psalm 86:10). His thoughts are not our thoughts neither are His ways anything like our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Men tend to pattern their thoughts of God after what they can see. The worldly pattern their views of God according to the world’s standards. God gives examples of this thought pattern in Psalm 50. However in Psalm 50:21 He gives a rebuttal to that thought pattern. Look for yourself:

These things you have done, and I have been silent;
you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.

 No!! The sum of all excellence: morally, ethically, philosophically, socially, politically and other-ally is found in our Absolutely Sovereign God. He is absolutely pure (1 John 1:5) and absolutely glorious in holiness (Habakkuk 1:13). God is pure, clean, undefiled, and untainted by sin in any way (Leviticus 11:45). All His ways are holy (Exodus 15:11). I just love the way the King James Version (KJV) of Exodus 15:11 suggests that God is marvelous in holiness.

    The Hebrew and Greek words for holy and holiness are best reserved for our Sovereign God. Even when they are used for men and things and stuff, the holiness found in created objects is transcendent from God Who dwells in them. It is God’s indwelling presence that makes things holy (Exodus 22:31). The Holy of Holies was indwelt by God’s Shekinah glory as was the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. God is the personification of holiness and purity (Psalm 145:17).

    As the Only One Who is holy (Revelation 15:4; 1 Samuel 2:2) then those who are called by Him, Who Alone is holy, are also called to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16; Leviticus 11:44-45). This suggests that as God hates sin and every evil way (Psalm 5:4) then we as well ought to loathe and detest sin and every evil way and seek after His holiness. Our God cannot simply wink at sin like so many in the church and in the world do today. He commands us to resist the devil and the devil, the father of lies and all falsity, will flee from us (James 4:7; John 8:44). The devil looked upon the holiness of Jesus and cried out, “I know You, Jesus, the Holy One of God” (Luke 4:34). God demonstrated His great and intense displeasure with sin by sending His Only Begotten and Unique Son to die for our sins. The Just for the unjust! The Holy for the unholy! Oh-h-h how much God must have hated sin and loved us so that He imputed and impugned sin upon His Only Son, Who cried out in agony on the Cross, “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?” (Psalm 16:10; Matthew 27:46). I can just hear God’s swift answer coming back, “Because You Alone are Holy and through your death and resurrection lies the avenue through Whom My people will attain to the holiness I desire ” (Psalm 22:1-3).

    Yes, saints of the Most Holy God, then we ought to forever worship and praise His name. Shouldn’t our song of praise be like that song that Moses and the Israelites sang after deliverance? Shouldn’t our song of victory be like that song of victory sung by those who stood by the banks of the glassy sea with harps of God in their hands after the victory over the beast? Shouldn’t our song of worship and praise be like that of the four living creatures who bellowed both day and night, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty (Omnipotent) Who was and Who is and Who is to come?” (Revelation 4:8). Let us then cry out like the holy seraphim who stood in the very presence of God in the year that King Uzziah died saying: “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts; the earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3). Be blessed and be a blessing to someone else by sharing with them this blog.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sunday's Scripture Study:The Absolutely Sovereign God is Awesome

Psalm 47:2 For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared,
 a great King over all the earth.(ESV)

     Many times when one hears the words awe or awesome, the thought just sort of automatically goes to that of wonder which evokes an eye-popping, mouth-gaping kind of emotional reaction. The God we serve, the Sovereign Lord, evokes this kind of response from those who know Him and from those who don’t. We, His chosen ones, should seek to know Him through the revelation of His Word, both the Inscripturated Word and the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ- God completely told out!

   It helps then, as much as is humanly possible, that the chosen of God ought to come to know Him Whom we worship and praise. He alone is God and there is no other. The words awe and awesome and terrible are synonymous when used of God. For in His awesomeness He evokes awe and terror in the hearts of all. God expects His people to reverently and worshipfully fear Him according to Hebrews 12:28:

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

 This is not a dreadful kind of fear as one would have of an enemy, but a Godly fear as we should have toward our Absolutely Sovereign Lord.

     The OT word translated from yare and its NT equivalents can mean dread,  but to those who’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb of the Most High God, it variously means to respect, to reverence, to be awesome, or to hold in high esteem. Israel knew that God was to be feared and was awesome.

Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?... But with You there is forgiveness, that You may be feared. (Exodus 15:11; Psalm 130:4).

 2 Samuel 7:23 also tells us that His deeds or works are awe-inspiring. When we view the works of our Absolutely Sovereign God they should generate in us, His elect, abundant awe. Other awe words like stupendous, admirable, venerable, and honor ought to come to mind when we experience the awe-inspiring nature of our Absolutely Sovereign God.

   He alone is the God of awe-full majesty. He is terrible in both senses of the word. Job probably best describes God’s awesome nature in his record of God’s dealing with his situation in Job chapters 38-41.  Yes, there is none like Him in all the earth. The sons of Korah tell us in the text to make a joyful noise, you His people! Clap you hands! Shout for joy with the voice of triumph and songs of joy!! For the Lord, Your God excites terror and awe and dread. He is the great King over all the earth. He is the One Who subdued peoples and put nations under Israel’s feet. He is King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16).

   No greater act has He done for us that should excite awe and reverence and respect and honor than that which involves His only Begotten Son, Jesus. No greater evidence abounds about the awesomeness of God than those events which surrounded His First Coming. Men and women were awe-struck. They hadn’t ever seen anything like this before (Mark 2:12).

   He is Awesome: that’s Who He is and What He is!! The Awesome God Who rules over the heavens and the earth and the universe. We are all one day going to be awe-struck by the Awesome One at His Second Coming. He’s coming back again with healing in His wings and glory in His soul (Malachi 4:2). He’s coming back again at the sound of the mighty trump of God (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Yes, Awesome is Who He is and I’m glad to know that! I hope and pray that now you know.

God bless you and keep you. Amen. Amen. Amen. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday's Scripture Study:Seven Images Interpreting the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Matthew 1:21
 The Salvation Image

     When we celebrate and remember the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through the Lord’s Supper, our minds ought to additionally focus on the salvation He has procured on our behalf. To see salvation in the image of His death and resurrection is to come to really understand the mission to which He came. Always in the Old Testament His coming is associated with His bringing of salvation. The Psalmist declares in Psalms 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Isaiah shouts a resounding acclamation in Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation...and He has become my salvation. We believe that the coming of this promised salvation is found in Jesus, and only in Jesus Alone.

     Therefore in the angelic pronunciation to Joseph in the text of Matthew 1:21 His Name is given prominence and preeminence. He shall be called Jesus because He will save His people from their sins. Jesus, the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, means Savior. His errand from the Father is therefore cleared up, confirmed, and affirmed before He came into the world. Matthew goes on to say that His coming into the world to save sinners from their sins was in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of 7:14 Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear  a Son and shall call His name Immanuel. Yes, God will be with His people to save them from their sins.

When we see the image of salvation in the death and resurrection of Jesus a multifaceted picture ought to emerge. We should see in this image Who He is (Savior), what He has done (saved us from our sins), and what He brings (salvation). The theological linkage here expounded by Matthew effectively links these together in the promise of the remission of sins given through Jeremiah (31:34) and the other OT prophets.

The basic idea of salvation is deliverance, preservation, or rescue from a dangerous situation. The verb “to save” occurs some 54 times in the Gospels with over 20 of these applying to or meaning spiritual salvation as opposed to physical salvation. Whenever the words save and its derivatives salvation and Savior are used, one must be clear of its context as to whether the reference is to physical or spiritual salvation. Principally throughout the New Testament the reference is overwhelmingly deliverance from sin and its spiritual consequences. This deliverance is from the power, guilt, dominion, and pollution of sin. There is an assumed dependence of the ones saved upon the One doing the saving (Savior). We may not fully comprehend how God saves nor agree on the mechanisms involved in so great a salvation; but all of God’s children would agree that God does save through Jesus. Thus we all should see the image of salvation in His death and the resurrection.  He rescues us from the perils of sin’s influence and ushers us into a state of salvation bliss whereby we are admitted into eternal life though Jesus Christ our Savior. The image of the Suffering Savior ought to bring our hearts to a point sweltering with jubilation toward the One Who has delivered us. In the text He is emphatic meaning it has a powerful connotation attached to its usage. Matthew wants us to know as Jonah and the OT prophets knew (Jonah 2:9) that Salvation and deliverance belong to the Lord. It is He Who saves by His personal acts on our behalf at Calvary. He saves us from our sins. Look at the Cross and see that He Alone is the Savior of His people.

     I would definitely be remiss in my duties,  faltering in my commitment to the True Word of God, and failing in my obedience if I did not remind you at this point again of the limited nature of His Atonement. The text says, “He will save His people from their sins.” Not everybody, but whosoever will believe on Him , trust Him and never doubt, venerates Him, has a reverential fear of God, treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly, is acceptable to Him and sure of being received and welcomed by Him (Acts 11:35). This precludes those who have not faith in Him. The Bible plainly teaches that all do not have faith in Him (2 Thessalonians 3:2). Though a specific reference here is to the nation of Israel, the context suggests an application to those who trust Him in faith (Revelation 5:9). While some trust in and boast in chariots and some in horses (Psalm 20:7); others boast in their physical attributes, their knowledge, their reputation, their prestige, their position, their influential friends, their armies and weapons, their bank accounts, their preachers, their deacons, their buildings, their families, and any body and any thing else; BUT we trust in and boast of the Name of the Lord our God. They shall call His Name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins.

     Finally my brothers and my sisters, He not only saves us from our sins but He saves us for a reason. This salvation image in the death and resurrection of Jesus leads the apostle Paul to exclaim to us in Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for all people training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright Godly lives in this present age so that we’ll receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His salvation gives us a right to the tree of life. Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift of salvation in the death and the resurrection of Jesus. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sunday's Scripture Study: Seven Images Interpreting the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Hebrews 10:12-17
 The Forgiveness Image

    No other image of Jesus in the New Testament (or in the Old Testament) portrays what He has done for us more fully than the image of forgiveness.  The Psalmist declares in Psalm 103:3 that He forgives every one of our iniquities. It is in or through Jesus, the Word declares in Ephesians 1:7, that we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. This image of forgiveness permeates throughout the Scriptures. Prayerfully consider a few:
Psalm 51:1
Hosea 14:4
Isaiah 38:17
Daniel 9:9
Colossians 1:14
Colossians 2:13
In fact the Bible is the only religious book that teaches that God completely forgives sin.

     The pardoning power of Jesus presupposes our former state of bondage to sin. For the Word says that sin came by one man and death as a result (Romans 5:12) to those who were once slaves to sin (Romans 6:17). But now He , through the power of His death and resurrection has made of no effect and delivered us and completely set us free from the fear of death that held us in bondage throughout the entire course of our lives (Hebrews 2:14-15). In His death and resurrection Jesus has indeed fulfilled all the OT prophecies concerning our deliverance from sin. In Acts 5:31 Peter under the anointing of the Holy Spirit says that God has highly exalted Him (through His death and resurrection) to bestow forgiveness and release from sins. In Jeremiah’s prophecy the Word plainly states this fact that in the New Covenant, God’s High Priest-Jesus would forgive our iniquities and remember our sins no more (Jeremiah 31:31-34). This fact is prominent in the Hebrew writer’s mindset so much so that he alludes to it over and over again (cf Hebrews 8:8-12) and again in the focal text, particularly verse 17.

The new covenant then is essentially concerned with the forgiveness of sins. It is in essence a covenant based upon divine forgiveness of sin. As God is the inaugurator of the new covenant, it stands to reason that He is the initiator of forgiveness as stated earlier in Daniel 9:9 and confirmed further in Nehemiah 9:17. He is a God ready to pardon.

     When we view Jesus’ death and resurrection we see clearly the new thing that God had promised (cf Isaiah 43:19; Hebrews 9:10). No longer are we dependant upon ritualistic sacrifices to secure God’s favor. No longer do we need turtle doves, goats, rams, lambs, and bulls.  Now, by the blood-letting and blood shedding of Jesus, through His precious blood He has given us the assurance that He has completely, once and for all done away with the burden and  guilt  of sin which had been fashioned upon us by the first Adam. God through Christ has blotted out from God’s record forgiveness of sins, never to be brought up against us again as evidence.

     I get so excited when I think about God’s forgiveness of my sins through the blood of Jesus. My heart begins to run wild when I think about Jesus’ death and resurrection on my behalf. In order for God to forgive sins, two conditions must be necessarily satisfied. First and foremost, a life must be given as a substitute for the sinner. The Hebrew writer says it much better than I can in Hebrews 9:22-28. This matter is completely and permanently taken care of by Jesus. Secondly, the sinner must come to God’s sacrifice and acknowledge that he is utterly destitute in and of himself. He must give up himself to Him and then receive forgiveness of sins (Acts 10:43) through His Name.

     I’m glad to know that we have come to realize that the good things to come could not have come by offering the same sacrifices year in and year out (Hebrews 10:3-10; 12-17). Thank God that through His blood (His death and resurrection) we can see clearly the image of His forgiveness of our sins and transgressions; the blotting out of our iniquities Thank God for Jesus’ blood and resurrection. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Scripture Study::Seven Images Interpreting the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

   Galatians 4:4-5
                                          The Adoption Image  

We have given consideration to and focused upon the images brought to light in the death and resurrection of Jesus. We have variously dealt with, through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the images of ransom, redemption, justification, and reconciliation. Through these views or images we have sought to interpret Jesus’ death and resurrection. If the Lord is willing and Jesus does tarry, while I have your undivided attention I want to share with you the image of adoption which leaps forth from the Scriptures to us through the New Testament works of Jesus on our behalf.

     The term ‘adoption’ though theologically significant is used scantily by the NT writers. As a matter of fact the word is not used at all in the OT and is used only in the writing of Paul under the unction of the Holy Spirit in the NT. There was no provision in the OT for the use of adoption by the Jews. The Israelites were not allowed in God’s providence to ‘adopt’ but only did so in response to their mimicking of the nations around them. Thus we see Moses being ‘adopted’ by pharaoh’s daughter not legally as with the Romans and Greeks later, but as the Word says simply, “he became her son.” (Exodus 2:10)

     This is the idea behind the NT meaning of the word, ‘adoption’. The word as used in the NT means a placing of a son’ or “receiving into the relationship of a child.  The NT uses the word adoption in only a few instances:

Romans 8:15
Romans 8:23
Romans 9:4
Ephesians 1:5

     In the text of Galatians 4:4-5, specifically verse 5. Paul’s aim was to show that the sonship we have as believers in Jesus Christ is not a natural one of human descent but is conferred upon us by divine act of God the Father. In Romans 9:14 adoption belongs to Israel by way of God’s covenants and promises to the nation. In Romans 8:15 freedom comes with the Spirit of adoption by virtue of Christ’s atoning act whereby we blissfully cry out, “Abba, Father.”  In Ephesians 1:5 we find the stated reason for our adoption: that is the love of God for us. His foreordination of us as sons and daughters should leave no room for us to boast. Our adoption into the family of God is a free grant to hell-deserving people springing forth solely from the gracious acts of God in Christ.

     What really then does adoption reveal to us? As we seek to better understand, apprehend, and grasp the magnitude and significance of His death and resurrection we must also come face to face with the facts that we were at one time aliens from God. Our sins kept us separated from our heavenly Father. The Word says that we at one time were like minors, kept like slaves under the tutelage of the law. We were kept in subjection because we were outside of God’s arc of safety. We were unable to access the fullness of the privileges and enjoyments a mature son in a family has by birth. We were like Paul in a sense that we were born out of time in the wrong place so to speak (1 Corinthians 15:7). Oh-h- but thanks be to our God that when the proper time had fully come, in the fullness of the time,  God sent His Son Jesus Incarnate into the world to redeem those who were born subject to the law (Jews) and also to redeem, ransom, atone for, and purchase the freedom of those who were subject to the law (Gentiles).  The reason for this was so that we might be adopted and have sonship bestowed or conferred upon us where we were recognized as God’s sons and daughters. No not in the same sense that Jesus is. No not in the same kind of relationship as THE SON Who was SON by divine nature. He alone is God’s own Unique, Only Begotten Son, full of grace and truth. His Sonship is the divine image. Ours is legal image. We still have to conform to His image, purpose, and interest. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

     This adoption of ours was unavailable to us until Jesus came. We could not obtain it under the law. Thanks be unto God that we, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, are redeemed and adopted into the family of God with all its inherent privileges, rights, and benefits through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Thank God for our adoption which was effectuated through His death and resurrection. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Scripture Study: Seven Images Interpreting the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Romans 5:9-11
The Reconciliation Image

   When we look to the cross of Jesus, “What image do we see?" Surely it is difficult to see a “Mr. Goody Two Shoe” god who is dying a disparaging death so we can enjoy all the materialistic benefits of being connected with Him. I submit to you that we must truly see the Suffering Savior in the true light of His Word.

   To see the reconciliatory image in the death and resurrection of Jesus on the cross definitely presupposes our sinful state of alienation from God. To truly see Him in the beauty of His Holiness should be our constant goal and desire. Again I ask, “What image do you see as you look upon our Savior dying on the cross for us?” Sin, from as far back as the Garden of Eden, has consistently buried its claws into our flesh. We were rather pitiful people as sinners. For the Word of God tells us in Isaiah 64:6 And all of our righteous acts are like filthy rags before Him and His Presence. Our sinful ways had corrupted its way upon the earth and taken its toll on our flesh. The Psalmist chimes in Psalms 51:1-13 to show the utter hopelessness of our state without Christ. Surely then sin had kept us in a state of alienation from God.

   When we view the death and resurrection of Jesus from that standpoint then we see the real need for our being reconciled. One meaning of reconciliation is restoration. Through His death on the cross Jesus restores us who were once alienated and estranged from God. Sin had created a great gulf between us and our God. So much so that we were considered enemies of God. Our hostile attitude toward God had to be dealt with. At one time we were friends of this world. That in itself made us enemies of God. We desired neither His will nor His way. We sought not to be conformed to His image. We strove not to be in the sanctity of His abiding Presence. We clung not to the things of Christ, but swiftly swam into the cesspool of Satan and fell for his evil schemes.

   But I’m glad to know that we didn’t stay in that boat. I’m glad to know that our ship did come in and we got on board through faith. ONCE we were dead in trespasses and sins. ONCE we were outside of God’s arc of safety. ONCE we were sinking deep in sin, far from a peaceful shore. So very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more. But the Master of the Sea, heard our disparaging cry and from the waters lifted me now safe am I. Oh-h- yes, Love lifted me!!

   Thank God that a wonderful change has been wrought in our lives. Thank God that we got a new attitude since Jesus came into our lives. Our formerly hostile hearts have been cleansed with His blood. I’ve been set free!! Thank God that through His death and resurrection, we now have peace with God. Through the power of His death and resurrection we have the victory over sin’s former dominion over us. Through His expiating sacrifice we have been reconciled back to God. The blood of Jesus has torn down the dividing wall of partition. The death and resurrection of Jesus has brought the feud to an end. We who were once God’s enemies have now been made His friends.

   In the death and resurrection of Jesus we see peace again through the image of reconciliation. God effectuates our reconciliation only through our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Christ of God. Yes, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself as He shed His precious blood for us:
We have been reconciled.
We have received reconciliation.
He and He alone has reconciled us.
We are the reconciled ones of God purchased with His own blood. Thank God for Jesus’ reconciliation through His death and resurrection.

Amen. Amen. Amen.  

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday Scripture Study: Seven Images Interpreting the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

(Note: the Blogger is Back! After a 3+ month hiatus from surgery God has strengthened me and allowed me to get back to blogging His Word. My spirit is beaming with joy unspeakable that our God would favor me in such a miraculous and special way. Thanks for all who prayed for me. Those prayers helped me to maintain and sustain my comittment to Jesus, the Christ of God. Love you all. Help me to continue to spread His Word.)

Romans 5:1-9
The Justification Image

     We continue to view the death and resurrection of Jesus as the worthy basis for all proclamation of the Gospel message. This message was so crucial that the early church in Acts preached and taught it almost exclusively. If it was good enough for them then surely it is still good enough for us today (Acts 13:33).

     Just as Abraham was declared righteous by God, we too are also justified. That is in essence the meaning of the word, justification: “to be declared righteous.” The image we grasp as we view the death and resurrection of Jesus in the light of justification is again that of bondage of some type. We have previously said that both ransom and redemption presupposed a state of bondage. The Bible speaks in Hebrews 2:14-15 of that bondage which is principally to sin.  David says in Psalms 51:1, “we were shaped in iniquity and in sin did our mother conceive us.”  The Bible declares in Romans 3:23 that, “since all have sinned and are falling short of the glory which God bestows and receives…the all are also justified through the redemption which is provided by Jesus Christ.”

     How then can we who are sinful be justified with God? The reality of this all is that in and of ourselves we cannot be justified. Unfortunately, much preaching and teaching from pulpits today insists that man of his own volition can meritoriously justify himself. However, those of us who love the Lord and seek the security of His Word, know that the Bible says in Romans 8:33-34 that it is God Who justifies and not we ourselves. We are the sheep of His pasture and not the other way around. No the tail doesn’t wag the dog in God’s true household!!

     So first of all we must see in the image of justification the awful danger of our once-miserable condition. Then and only then can we really appreciate and apprehend the beauty of what Jesus did for us. Recognizing our sinfulness should cause us to exult in God as Paul does here in the fifth chapter of Romans. It is through Him and Him Alone that our rejoicing and exultation ought to be. It is through Him and Him Alone that we now have access to this grace of justification.

     Some have erroneously taught that God “makes us righteous” in justification. The image the Bible presents throughout however is one of being declared righteous instead. Look at the witness and testimony of Isaiah:
Isaiah 45:24-25; Isaiah 54:17; and Isaiah 61:10

We who were once the enemies of God, have now been made His friends. Yes, He brought the feud to an end (Ephesians 2:17) and we are no longer “outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens in God’s heavenly kingdom (Ephesians 2:19). No longer do we possess a hostile attitude of mind toward God (Colossians 1:21). The once dead are now alive. The once blind can now see. The once lost have now been found. The once far off have now been made near to God through the blood of Jesus. We now have been given a right standing with God through faith in His Son (Romans 5:1). Simply put. ”We’ve been justified.”

     Look at verse 6 in the text. God declares us righteous on the basis of our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus. He did this first of all at the “right time.” Galatians 4:4 says, “When the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, His Only Begotten Son, to purchase, to redeem, to ransom, to atone for, to justify us. Secondly, when/while we were still weak, powerless, and without strength; feeble with the deep-seated and lingering disorder of sin: Christ died for us!! Christ died in place of us, on behalf of us!! Thirdly, the Apostle says that we were ungodly!! MY! My! My!  We were the enemies of God. Our justification then surely shows that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. His death is the price paid for our release; His resurrection is the surety of our justification. Not only did His resurrection justify us, but it also proved that Jesus was the Christ, God’s Anointed One, and the Promised Messiah. His resurrection proves beyond a shadow of doubt that He was not subjected to the wrath of God under which sin had placed all flesh. We are justified by His blood.

     You and I can stand in the grace of justification because of His mediation on our behalf (Romans 5:2). I’m glad to know that Paul here speaks of our justification as being a”past-done” act. The deal has already been done. Through His once-for-all acts at Calvary, we now have been declared to be justified by His blood (Romans 1:7). He was put to death because of our sins and misdeeds. He was wounded for our transgressions! He was bruised for our iniquities! The chastisement of our peace was upon Him!! By His stripes we are healed!! He was raised from the dead to secure our justification; our acquittal; making our account balance and absolving us from all guilt before God the Father (Romans 4:25). Ain’t God all right?

     We, the chosen of God, have been given a right standing with Him through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. Who hung, bled, and died on the Cross in the place of us and Who has been raised to justify us. Thank God for His justification of us!! Thank God for Jesus’ death and resurrection this justifies us.  Amen. Amen. Amen.