Thought for Today: Justification
Romans 8:1 - There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
God's justification of the believer, once pronounced, is final, irreversible, and irrevocable. This flows forth from God's gracious provisions in the atonement of Christ. His death blots out all the sins of His people. When His work is applied to the believer, there is no more room for condemnation, for God's provision excludes it forever.
Justification is further required by the justice of God. In Christ's satisfaction all the demands of justice are fully met. Once this is appropriated, there is no more grounds for condemnation, for God's justice has removed all grounds forever. Not even the remaining, pervasive, and powerful presences of indwelling sin can force the believer's condemnation.
To be sure, its paralyzing influence is such that the believer by himself always fails to translate his delight in God's law into complete obedience. This spells his abiding wretchedness (Romans 7:24 - Wretched man that I am! Who will set me from the body of this death?) - However, through union with Christ, who has already pronounced sentence upon undwelling sin, and through the indwelling Spirit, the believer enjoys freedom from the tyranny of sin. This guarantees continuing sanctification. Indwelling sin is not ultimate. It stands condemned and is overcome. God has the final, justifying word.
To put it in layman's terms; "Not guilty, let him go free". What would those words mean to you if you were on death row? The fact is that the whole human race is on death row, justly condemned for repeatedly breaking God's Holy Law. Without Jesus we would have no hope at all. But thank God! He has declared us not guilty and has offered us freedom from sin and power to do His will.
There is great tension in daily Christian experience. The conflict is that we agree with God's commands but cannot do them. As a result, we are painfully aware of our sin. This inward struggle with sin was as real for Paul as it is for us today. From Paul we learn what to do about it. Whenever he felt overwhelmed by the spiritual battle, he would return to the beginnings of his spiritual life, remembering how he had been freed from sin by Jesus Christ. When we feel confused and overwhelmed by sin's appeal, let us claim the freedom Christ gave us. His power can lift us to victory.
We must learn where our personal weaknesses lie. Once they are identified, we must be ruthless in dealing with them. - Alister Begg-