“being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”
Romans 3:24 (NKJV)
Have you ever heard the theological word, “justification” to describe what Jesus atoning death on Calvary’s Cross has provided for all who believe in Him? In simple laymen terms its a declaration, “Just As If You Never Sinned” that means when Jesus Christ died on Calvary’s Cross He took with Him all of our sins, past, present and future and He paid in full the price for each and every one of them leaving you and I completely forgiven, completely righteous before God. That brings up another theological concept to mind, “imputed righteousness” which means that God declares us righteous or “in right standing before God” solely on the basis of faith in what Jesus has accomplished for us and not by anything we have ever done through works or the keeping of any law for the law, as no amount of works or the keeping of any law can justify anyone. Galatians 3:6 says it plainly how our righteousness is achieved, “just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."
As a pastor there is nothing I enjoy more than helping someone come to terms with their forgiveness that is made possible through faith in Jesus Christ. It usually occurs after many anguishing months or maybe even years of being beat down by the Devil, sometimes even family members and friends who know the backstory of their shame and guilt and who frequently remind them of a past they would rather forget, they finally work up the courage to make an appointment and come in for help.
There really is nothing in this life that can compare to the moment when sinners become saints, where the guilt and shame of our sins are lifted from our backs and placed securely on the back of Christ, and the reality of what Jesus accomplished for us when He Himself carried each and every one of them up that hill to Calvary’s Cross and nailed them to His own body, taking our place so that we could go free. Our justification was accomplished as Jesus was both our substitute as well as our representative. He not only took our place, He died in our place.
Many people have heard the story of Jesus Christ and how He came from heaven to earth to redeem the lost, to save sinners and set a liberty the captives. Sadly, not as many have actually received the grace and mercy God offers us by placing our hope and trust in Christ and experiencing the forgiveness and freedom, the complete “just as if you never have sinned” justification and subsequent “imputed righteousness” that follows. I know from personal experience the sickly conclusion that says, “the worse I feel about my sin and guilt the better off I am”. Its why some people love sermons that make them feel bad about themselves and their past so they can appreciate God’s grace all the more.
What makes the Gospel good news is that the Gospel is good news! When we come to Jesus confessing our sins and inviting Him into our heart as Savior and Lord, He forgives us our sins not simply covering them over but removing them completely as if they were never there. If you have come to Christ and received Him into your heart your account, the ledger bearing your name in heavens record is spotless, no thought or mention of any past sin or failure. You are as free as it gets.
Think about this long and hard today. Why do you think every time a person was brought to Jesus in the Gospels who was caught in their sin that Jesus would look upon them and say, “your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more?” It’s one thing to say your sins are forgiven and quite another to say go and sin no more. You see, loved one, when Jesus forgives us, He also forgets the sins we had committed as He washes our slate perfectly clean. Only someone who is free can go and sin no more. He who the Son sets free is free indeed!
Don’t take my word for it, take Gods. Listen carefully to the words of Micah 7:19, “He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.” Or if one verse wasn’t enough, how about Psalm 103:12 which reminds us, “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” It was Corrie ten Boom who once said, I would imagine after reading these passages, “God takes our sins, the past, present, and future, and dumps them in the sea and puts up a sign that says ‘No Fishing Allowed.’” Because of Jesus, we are free to move forward, as the chains of sin and shame, of guilt and bondage have been broken. We don’t have a past, all we have is a future because we have been set free!
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered”
I LOVE YOU!
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