The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Whenever Scripture refers to anyone other than the Lord Jesus Christ as "just," the true meaning is actually "justified."
"Noah was a just man" (Genesis 6:9).
"Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God, to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:24-26).
No human being becomes righteous with God apart from His grace in the Lord Jesus. The Old Testament saints like Noah had far less light than we do regarding God's working to justify the unrighteous. They could know enough, however, to approach the Lord with the personal and penitent attitude of realizing their need for God's mercy and salvation. Such faith led to the grace of justification in a limited, but similar manner as born again believers experience in this present dispensation, wherein "grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 5:21).
The need for God's justifying work on our behalf originates in His standard of character, nature, and behavior. "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31). His pristinely righteous being requires absolute moral perfection in Himself, and in all things. This is especially true of the human race originally created in His image. To be acceptable to God requires perfection - either by our own attainment, or by the Lord's attainment on our behalf. The former is impossible - "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). The latter is salvation - "By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Hebrews 10:14). We either become just by being freely justified in Christ, or we remain in sin regardless of how well or poorly (in our own minds) we seek to attain to God's perfect standard.
To be just with God, we must either be perfect in character and behavior from our conception and forever thereafter, or we must have the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus imputed to us a free gift of God's grace. To be just with Him always means we have been justified by Him. Always. No alternative exists, and thus we join the hymnist in his exultation, "Nothing in my hand I bring. Only to Thy cross I cling!" Or, in Biblical terms…
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Weekly Memory Verse
Wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost who come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them."