Let's suppose for a
moment that I died tonight and stood before the LORD
God who is the Supreme Judge of the Universe. No
doubt He would ask me, "Wil Pounds, why should I let
you into my heaven? You are a guilty sinner. How do
My response would be, "I
plead guilty, Your Honor."
My advocate, Jesus
Christ, who is standing there beside me speaks up
for me. He says, "Your Honor. It is true that Wil
Pounds is grievous sinner. He is guilty. He deserves
eternal punishment for his sinfulness. However,
Father, I died for him on the cross and rose from
the dead. Wil Pounds has put his faith and trust in
Me and all that I have done for Him on the Cross. He
is a believer. I died for him, and he has accepted
Me as his substitute."
The Lord God turns to me
and says, "Is that true?"
I will respond to Him,
"Yes sir! That is the truth. I am claiming the shed
blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse me of all my sins.
I have put my faith in Jesus to save me for all
eternity. This is what You have promised in your
word. Jesus said, 'For God so loved the world (and
this includes Wil Pounds), that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should
not perish, but have everlasting life."
The Lord God responds:
"Acquitted! By order of this court, I demand that
you be set free. The price has been paid by My Son."
The truth is we all "fall
short" in our effort to attain a relationship with
the holy God. We need someone to rescue us and set
us free. That person has to be a substitute for us
because sin requires the death penalty. We need
someone who is holy and just in the eyes of the LORD
God. Only He can satisfy the holy eyes of God. God
in His rich mercy toward us sinners provided
GOD'S PROVISION OF
SALVATION FOR THE SINNER.
The Apostle Paul wrote, "
. . . being justified as a gift by His grace through
the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God
displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood
through faith. This was to demonstrate His
righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He
passed over the sins previously committed; for the
demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the
present time, that He might be just and the
justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Romans
Jesus Christ is the
sinless perfect Son of God who came and died as our
substitute on the Cross. The Cross was the place of
judgment. At the cross our sin debt was paid in
Based upon that
punishment of sin on our behalf God extends to us
His grace and saves us. God doesn't play
make–believe. He does not legalize a fiction of the
imagination. The judicial act by which a holy and
righteous God gives us a right standing before Him
is called justification.
The Westminster Shorter
Catechism says, "Justification is an act of God's
free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins, and
accepts us as righteous in his sight, only for the
righteousness of Christ, imputed to us, and received
by faith alone."
God declares the
believing sinner that he has been made forever right
and acceptable to God. This is the sinner's new
position before the LORD God. It has been
accomplished by God's grace.
We believe and accept the
finished work of Christ, and God puts His
righteousness to our account. He declares us
acquitted. He declares us righteous based on the
death and resurrection of Christ. We are not
declared righteous on account of our faith because
that would be a meritorious work, and God does not
justify the sinner by works. Saving faith is like
coming with empty open hands to receive the
righteousness of Christ.
Justification is a legal
standing with God based upon Christ's death and
resurrection and our faith in Him. We are declared
to be righteous by God. Therefore, justification is
the legal and formal acquittal from guilt by God who
is Judge. God pronounces the sinner as righteous,
who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Because God is a holy and
just God He cannot condemn the person He has before
justified. Romans 8:33 says, "Who will bring a
charge against God's elect? God is the one who
justifies." The ground of our justification is
secure in the person who died for us. The Apostle
Paul adds, "who is the one who condemns? Christ
Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised,
who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes
for us" (v. 34). Our justification is unchanging and
unchangeable because of the secure foundation upon
which it stands. Because Christ is righteous and you
have believed on Christ, you are now declared
This pardon and
righteousness comes only to those who have put their
faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
In that great transaction
something wonderful has happened. God welcomes us
into His family. We come to an intimate love
relationship with Him. We can now enter into His
holy presence because we are now clothed in Christ's
"He [God] made Him
[Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf,
that we might become the righteousness of God in
Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). The one person who was
sinless, who had never experienced sin, was made sin
on our behalf. Jesus took all our sin and guilt upon
Himself at the cross and died in our place. He did
it in order "that we might become the righteousness
of God in Him." No wonder God declares our salvation
work finished. My sin debt had been paid in full at
the cross of Christ. Now God gives me His perfect
This is now the actual
standing of the Christian before God. It is our
GOD'S PROVISION OF A
NEW POSITION BEFORE HIM.
We are reconciled
to God by Jesus Christ.
Every believer has been
placed in an eternal position before God. God has
"reconciled us to Himself." We are no longer His
enemies. We are now considered His friend. II
Corinthians 5:17–18 reads, "Therefore if any man is
in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things
passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all
these things are from God, who reconciled us to
Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of
reconciliation." Our old position has been exchanged
for a new one. We are a new creation. God made it.
Our spiritual birth placed us in our new position.
We are now identified with Jesus Christ. This is
true of every believer.
We are made the
righteousness of God through being in Christ.
We are made the
righteousness of God in Jesus Christ because He was
made sin for us. Second Corinthians 5:21 is
emphatically clear about our new righteousness
position with God. The Apostle Paul states this
position when he gave his testimony in Philippians
3:7–9. "But whatever things were gain to me, those
things I have counted as loss for the sake of
Christ. More than that, I count all things to be
loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing
Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the
loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in
order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in
Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived
from the Law, but that which is through faith in
Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on
the basis of faith."
We have a perfect
Though our present
condition is not perfect. We are saved sinners.
However, the Christian is perfected forever in
position before God. We have been set apart to God.
Hebrews 10:14, "For by one offering He has perfected
for all time those who are sanctified." The word
"sanctified" means "set apart." We have been set
apart for God's purpose.
We have the
fullness of Christ.
The fullness of Christ
becomes our unchanging portion. John 1:16 says, "For
of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon
grace." Paul relates the same truth in Colossians
2:9–10 when he says, "For in Him all the fullness of
Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have
been made complete, and He is the head over all rule
and authority." The "fullness" is the sum–total of
all Christ is. It is that number or quality that is
complete in itself. Christ is the fullness of the
Godhead bodily. "For it pleased the Father that in
Him should all fullness dwell" (Colossians 1:19).
Paul tells us in
Ephesians 2:6 NIV, "God raised us up with Christ and
seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ
Jesus." This is the source of our strength to live
the Christian life. "Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with
every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in
Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). We dwell within the very
source of every spiritual blessing with which the
Father has blessed us.
This complete standing
belongs to every believer. God sees us as perfected
in His Son. It is not the bestowment of
righteousness. Justification causes no one to be
righteous. It is a forensic or declared righteous.
We are judged righteous by God based upon the
perfect righteousness of Christ. The believing
sinner becomes righteous in God's sight when he is
in Christ. We are justified by God freely, or
without a cause.
This righteousness from
God is possessed on a faith principle in and answers
to faith in Christ. It belongs to all who believe on
Christ. We are all "being justified freely." We do
not come into possession of it by being good. It is
freely of God's grace through faith in Christ. God
is Himself just and righteous in His dealing with us
who do no more than believe on Jesus. Our
justification rests solely on the redeeming death of
The believer is
declared righteous because he is in Christ.
Our source of
Because we have been set
apart positionally to God we are to be increasingly
set apart in our daily lives. In our position before
God no one is more sanctified than anyone else. We
are to grow spiritually drawing our daily strength
from our positional standing before God. Indeed,
that is the only way we will grow spiritually. Our
eternal position effects our daily condition in this
The risen Christ is the
Vine and we are the branches. The life in the vine
is increasingly supplied to the living branches. The
healthy life of the branches is conditioned upon
their abiding in their position in the vine. The
fruit of the vine is produced in the branches. Our
positional source is the Vine. The Vine has
everything to do with the development and
fruitfulness of its branches. The responsibility of
the branch is to abide where it was born. It must
abide in its living position for spiritual source of
life. The life of the Vine is the life of the
branch. The life of Christ is the life of the
believer. The source from which our Christian life
flows is the Vine. We draw our strength from our
position on the Vine.
This new perfect position
is our source for all spiritual life and growth. Our
daily Christian life is the product of this position
in Christ. We are in Christ and Christ is in the
presence of the Father.
All that Christ is
becomes the Christian's possession because of the
fact that he lives in Him. The believer cannot be
perfectly in Christ and not partake of all that
Our present condition is
variable. We are still sinners. As we walk by faith
our eternal position effects our daily condition.
However, our present condition in no way effects our
heavenly position. Our fellowship with God is
affected, but not our position before Him.
Unconfessed sin damages our intimacy and fellowship.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and
righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
The Amplified version of
Ephesians 6:10 reads, "Be strong in the Lord –– be
empowered through your union with Him; draw your
strength from Him." This speaks of our drawing our
daily strength form our position before the throne
of God. We grow spiritually as we abide in Christ.
When we are abiding in Christ we are drawing from
our Christ–centered position. Our "life is hid with
Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).
We abide when we "reckon"
on Christ. "In the same way, count [consider,
reckon] yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in
Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11, NIV). "Be constantly
counting upon the fact that you are dead to sin, but
alive to God in Christ Jesus." We are to rest our
faith on these great positional truths. We
appropriate God's power by faith in Christ. We
exchange our weakness for His strength.
"But we all, with
unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of
the Lord, are being transformed into the same image
from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the
Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are gradually
conformed to His image, who is Himself the "express
image of His [God's] person" (Hebrews 1:3). When
Christ returns we will be just like Him (1 John
Are you appropriating
spiritual food and resources from your position in
Christ? This is the active side of abiding in
Christ. We abide in Christ by resting our faith in
these great Biblical facts. I abide in my position
in Christ. God the Father has provided everything we
need in the Christian life in Christ. He is
constantly removing our false security to cause us
to trust in Him alone.
By faith in the blood of
Jesus every sin was covered.
By faith in the work of
Christ on the cross the old man is put off.
By faith in the heavenly
position in Christ, the new man is put on.
In this passage of
Scripture it is crucial for us to bear in mind that
we have been describing the Christian life. It
begins with a spiritual birth. If you are not
bearing fruit it may be because you have never been
born again. That is where this kind of life begins.
We are always ready to help you put your faith and
trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Click
here to find out more about trusting in Christ as
If you need help in
becoming a Christian here is A Free Gift for You.
Title: Our Eternal
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