Justification and Indwelling Sin
Jesus said, “I have come to do your will, O God”
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
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
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
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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