The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
How justified (accounted as righteous in God's sight) are born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ? This justified.
"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin" (Romans 4:5-8).
Once we have entered into Christ by receiving God's free gift of grace through faith, our Heavenly Father will never again place sin on our account. The reason for this, of course, is that He placed all our sins on the account of the Lord Jesus when He suffered and died on the cross of Calvary:
"He hath made Him to be sin, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
To the degree the Lord Jesus was "made to be sin," we are "made the righteousness of God in Him." Adequate understanding of our justification therefore requires our awareness of how large the work of Christ looms in the eyes of our Father. I recently shared this truth with a believer discouraged by his faltering walk with the Lord. "When God sees believers," I said, "He first sees us in Christ, as united to His Son. Before anything else, before what we have done, are doing, or will do, our Heavenly Father first sees us enrobed in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus." Indeed, our Lord's earthly doings justified us through death and resurrection. Moreover, His Heavenly doings maintain our walk of justification through Him as "He is able to save them to the uttermost who come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25).
What we do matters greatly, and as a loving Father, God relates to us in both blessing and discipline based on our response to Him. However, our faith and faithfulness makes us no more "accepted in the Beloved" than we already are as God's sons and daughters (Ephesians 1:6). Nor does our unbelief and disobedience change the fact of our Christ-imparted righteousness granted as a free gift of grace (Romans 5:15-18). To the degree we know and grow in the relational and doctrinal reality of this wondrous Truth will be the degree to which we are "filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:11). Righteous being in Christ and our affirmation thereof leads to righteous response and a subsequent life that reflects the reality of who we are in Christ. Indeed, our Savior sacrificed too much - "made to be sin" - for believers to ignore or disregard the justification provided through His sufferings - "made to be the righteousness of God in Him." Or, as the writer of Hebrews affirms of freely given righteousness that leads to faithfully executed response...
"Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear."
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."