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Epistle of James

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Justification and Indwelling Sin

Jesus said, “I have come to do your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:7).

John Brown observed, “Holiness…consists in thinking as God thinks and willing as God wills.”  The true child of God knows the daily struggle against inward sin if he knows himself. 

One seasoned pastor stressed, “The man who never strives against sin which dwells in him, who indeed is not conscious of any sin to strive against, that is the man who may begin to question whether he knows anything at all about the spiritual life.  He who has no inward pain may well suspect that he is abiding in death, abiding therefore under constant condemnation; but that man who feels a daily striving after deliverance from evil, who is panting, and pining, and longing, and agonizing to become holy seen as God is holy, He is the justified man.  The man to whom every sin is a misery, to whomever the thought of iniquity is intolerable, he is the man who may with confidence declare, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.’  Souls that sigh for holiness are not condemned to eternal death, for their sighing proves that they are in Christ Jesus” (C. H. Spurgeon).

The person who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ is “in Christ.”

You can realize your position as being in Christ by a simple act of dependence upon Him.

Those who are not “in Christ” are already under condemnation now.  Jesus said, "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18). Later in summary He said, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides in him” (v.36).

The contrast is clearly stated by the apostle Paul in Romans 8:1.  "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).

There is no middle ground. You are “in Christ,” or you are not.  You are either a saved sinner or a lost sinner. You are either condemned or declared justified.

If you are “in Christ Jesus there is now no condemnation.”  In life, in death, in time, in eternity, “There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Do you know that joy and divine assurance?

The devil says that there is condemnation; Jesus says, “No condemnation.”  The legalist says you are condemned; God continues to say, “No condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

You are “in Christ” by faith.  You abide in Him by faith!

God has done everything possible for us to live a holy life.  Are you walking in the flesh?  Or, are you living by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit?  Do you do whatever you please excusing or denying your behavior?  Are you doing the will of God and obeying His written Word in the Bible?  Are you your own guide, your own wisdom, your own standard of righteousness?

The old pastor was right when he confessed, “I have struggled against inward sin, and rejoiced in complete justification at the same time” (Spurgeon).  “That is a cop-out,” the legalist says.  No!  It is an honest confession.  He is not deceiving himself or playing the hypocrite with others.  “Believers are in a state of conflict, but not in a state of condemnation; and that is at the very time when the conflict is hottest – the believer is still justified.”

Justification is declared for everyone who has put their faith in Christ’s perfect life and substitutionary death for our sins.  All true believers are united in Christ by a living and vital union.  We are one with Christ by a living experience with Him.  “Our union is inseparable, and therefore our condemnation is impossible.  Jesus Christ is our representative if we have believed in His dying in our place on the cross.  We are one with Him, and He one with us, therefore what He is we are.  But please remember, it is true only of those who are “in Christ.”


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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Abide in Christ

Christ in Old Testament

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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