Saturday, October 22, 2011

Justification--A Proclamation From God Himself

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Justification is the best good news anyone will ever hear, for it is the proclamation from God Himself that sets you free from condemnation forever. It's the news that you walk out of prison. (Imagine you've been on Death Row in your state prison, and you are at last vindicated or acquitted! You'd be quite happy, wouldn't you? Now, be happier "in Christ"!)

Some are perplexed by what they assume is a contradiction in Romans 5. In verse 1 we read that we are "justified by faith," that is, by the believing that we do here and now today, experientially. It seems to say that nothing happens until we believe, and that the initiative is up to us. But in verse 9 we read that we are "justified by [Christ's] blood," and that blood was something that happened and was shed 2000 years ago when He died on His cross.

When we are "justified by faith," there are seven blessings we experience according to Romans 5: (1) "we have peace with God," (2) "we have access ... into this grace wherein we stand," (3) we "rejoice," (4) "we glory in tribulations," (5) we are no longer "ashamed," (6) "the love [agape] of God is shed abroad in our hearts," (7) "the Holy Spirit ... is given unto us."

Now the big question: are all these blessings the result of OUR doing something? Do we trigger all this? Have we taken this initiative? Or is all this the consequence of something that Christ accomplished on His cross, and now at last we have heard of it and we believe it?

It is ONE justification, accomplished totally by the Savior of the world. But appreciated, believed, experienced, by the repentant sinner, who lets it change his heart and his life. At last he lets the Holy Spirit change him; he stops resisting Him. Let that blessed one be you and me!

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 9, 2005.
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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