Lesson 4 -- second quarter 2002
March 24, 2002
© Copyright 2002, Christian Light Publications
Justified and blessed
Even before the Creation, God knew mankind would fall from the perfection in which He created us. God knew sin would engulf us as a race and as individuals. He knew we would become morally and spiritually filthy, stained, and useless. And He knew that, in such a state, we would be unable to help one another or even just ourselves.
So God in His grace formulated a plan to redeem us by grace. God determined to bring us justification by grace. No, that justification would not return us to some sort of just-as-if-I-had-never-sinned state nor would it erase all the consequences of our failures. However, that justification would cleanse us thoroughly from our sins, renew us completely within, and fully restore our standing with Him.
Talk about generosity! God's justification in our lives results in many blessings that enrich our lives. Here are some of those blessings.
Peace with God. You surely know the dread of meeting up with someone who you know is very angry with you. You wonder just how this person will talk to you and what he is already saying about you. You fear he may have plans to somehow get even or perhaps pay you back (with generous interest!). Justification frees us from that kind of fear of God because we have peace with God.
Access to God's grace. Living by God's principles is a struggle; without His help, it is impossible. Walking in His ways is difficult; without His power it is impossible. Even simply wanting to live and walk after Him can escape us often! But His justification makes the impossible possible because we receive His grace which works in us both the willing and the doing of His good pleasure.
A glorious hope. Even the temporal future of the ungodly can be full of darkness and fear. But their eternal future is absolutely ghastly. That was our future prior to our justification by faith. Praise God, now we have a glorious future. Living here is with Christ and dying is even more gain! That means that in this life we can rejoice in this glorious hope brought to us in our justification.
Christian character. Hard times and testings produce anger, bitterness, and defeat in the character and disposition of millions. The harshness of life and of people mars both their faces and their souls. But because we have been made just before God, the effects on the believer are exactly the opposite. God uses the tribulations and injustices to beautify and fortify His people . . . and to glorify and magnify Himself.
God's love within. Selfish, cranky, mean, spiteful, envious -- those few words only begin to describe our general condition prior to our salvation. (That is true, right?) But God, through His love generously shed on us, wants to produce love in us. His love expressing itself through us proves that we are His disciples. And His love through us, extended to others, becomes the living demonstration and proof of our love for Him.
Reconciliation with God. I have gone from enemy to son, from alien to citizen, from competitor to co-laborer. My standing with God, having been upside down and contrary to His plan, has been stood back on its feet. I had wandered from Him, but I have returned. The death of Jesus made possible what I had never had before -- a good and improving relationship with God.
My friend, do you stand before God as one who has been justified by the blood of the Lamb?
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