“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Justification and sanctification

“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1Cor. 6:11).

Our part in justification is simple, but God’s part is a heavy burden. We come to Jesus, so that we are in tune with God’s Law; but, we come in our distress and great helplessness. And God puts all of our guilt and punishment on Jesus and washes away our bonds to sin. He puts us in our right mind, and He reconciles us so that we are no longer angry with or at odds with God, and Jesus is made sin to God for us.

Jesus is made filthy, but we are sanctified, not that we are perfected, but willing to be so. When Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48), didn’t He encompass all of 1 Corinthians 6:11? Didn’t the sin we were released from encompass all of verses 9 and 10, “fornicators, …idolaters, …adulterers, …effeminate, …abusers of themselves with mankind, …thieves, …covetous, …drunkards, …revilers, …extortioners”? 1 Corinthians 6:11would also include, “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2Pet. 3:18).

When we come to Christ God calls us perfect; and so we are, because whatever God speaks becomes reality. “He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” (Ps. 33:9). We came to Christ and His goodness compared to our badness led us to repentance, which resulted in our hating sin and renouncing it. Therefore, we are new creatures with a new disposition toward sin—we hate it and have lost the taste for it. God spoke our repentance and conversion, and our victory over sin was done.

Therefore we are perfect on day One. And we continue to be perfected every step of the way for the rest of our life. What a blessing! Continuously perfected and instructed, corrected, and humbled. No more self-indulgence! No more selfishness! No more self-justifying, self-serving, no more self-exalting! No more following after pleasing, flattering, carnal traditions of men that downsize and down play our despicable human nature.

As a baby in our new heavenly family we are perfect, as a toddler we are perfect, as adolescents, teens, and young adults we are perfect. So are we perfect in our prime and in the sunset years. And if we want to be like Jesus, we love the walk of being perfected; because as we follow His example, we appreciate Him more and more, His love becomes more and more a reality, and we see Jesus as a better and better friend. He never leaves the sinner; it is always the case that sin separates the sinner from Christ.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” (1Jn. 3:1-3).

This is the plan of redemption. If we give up under the pressure of God and His Law, and surrender to His provision of a savior in His Son, then we are perfectly in union with His Son and also have the manifest possession by the Father—His Holy Ghost—the Father’s hand on us and on our affairs, His presence in our heart and mind.

Faith was the operating choice that put into action the whole work of salvation. The Father’s divinely created forge of trouble and strife to the soul transformed our hope into faith and experience, both together which could lift our trembling will to His throne. We laid hold of the horns of His mercy seat and He rewarded us with the power to become sons of God. We were born of the Spirit of God and by His designated spokesman, Jesus Christ. We were adopted into God’s nation, given a new name that describes our victory over our old kings, Satan and self. We overcame the adversary by the blood of the Lamb and by our cry for God’s help.

Restored to health spiritually, mentally, physically, and accepted in God’s love, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient.” (1Cor. 6:12). While living under the control of God’s power, we have a freedom never before known while under Satan’s control. We have guidance to make our choices that will not war against our new-found salvation from Jesus. We love our new Master who delivered us from the harsh mastery of Satan and we always seek to stay in the light shining from the words of God.

Daily our hearts are enthralled by the love and beauty found in His word. The Bible makes sense like never before as we find that it aligns perfectly with the experience and transformation we’ve known when coming to God. If we stray from either the Law or the gospel, God can send a troubling reminder and set us back on the path to life. Our original hope and faith and love are in Him, and our new repentance brings us again to our resting place next to Jesus. We never lost our hope; our certainty of God’s acceptance never left; our connection with Him never ended. But our heart and will broke, as He reset us in humility. We doubt ourselves more than ever; but, when we are weak, then He is strong. Then we are strong.

Again and gain God brings us back to His original salvation, justification. Repeatedly we must accept His reconciliation, restoration, and discipline. Through His apostle He tells us, “I write not these things to shame you, but as My beloved sons I warn you.” (1Cor. 4:14). “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Rev. 3:19). “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:18).


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