Justified by Faith in Jesus Christ

Romans 5:1-2 ESV

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

What does it mean to be justified by faith? It means to be declared righteous, to be made right with God, and it means to acquit, to be freed from the punishment of sin. And it means to be approved by God and to show what is right, i.e. conformed to a proper standard (upright). But for this to happen in our lives we have to have the right faith, the faith which is authored and perfected by Christ and which is gifted to us by God and which means to be persuaded by God of this proper standard (upright).

So, let me share this with you: “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:7-9 ESV).

So, being made right with God is not a status that we wear and that’s it. And we can’t be made right with God via man-created faith. We can only be made right with God via the faith which comes from God, which means to be persuaded by God as to his holiness and righteousness, and of our sinfulness, and of our need to repent of (turn from) our sins to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). For this faith involves us being crucified with Christ in death to sin and being raised with him to walk in newness of life in him (Romans 6:1-23).

So, basically, you can’t just claim you believe in Jesus Christ and then all of a sudden you are made right with God and approved by God. Your faith has to align itself with the teachings of the Scriptures and with the will of God. And it means that you have been persuaded by God to leave your lives of sin behind you to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands, and so that is what you did, by this God-given faith. And so you are now right with God because you have forsaken your sins to follow Jesus in his ways.

But this has to be maintained. For it is whoever practices righteousness who is righteous. We are not righteous in the eyes of God if we are still walking in sin just because we verbalized a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. And God’s grace is not free license to continue living in sin, either. His grace, which is bringing us salvation, trains us to renounce (say ‘No’ to) ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return (Titus 2:11-14).

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Romans 5:3-5 ESV

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Now, when our faith in Jesus Christ – a faith that must be put into daily practice – results in us dying with Christ to sin and living to him and to his righteousness, and now sin is no longer our master, but Jesus Christ is our only Lord and Master, life as we once knew it is no more. We aren’t the same exact people as we were before. For our old self was crucified with Christ that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness.

And since we are no longer who we used to be, but now we have been changed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, we aren’t going to do all the same things we did before, and we won’t have the same mindset we had before. And so those who were used to the old us may not accept the new us very well. And I am saying here that even many professing Christians and some pastors will not accept who we are now, too, because we don’t blend in with the market-driven church’s business plans and goals.

So don’t be surprised if the new you, although accepted by God, gets rejected by some family members and/or by other people professing to be Christians, again, including some pastors. For in America so many people claiming to believe in Jesus have bought into a cheap grace gospel which makes no demands for repentance, for submission to Christ, and for walks of obedience to his commands. And so we have a lot of people professing Christ but who by their lives deny him.

But this suffering we go through, which is not all about being persecuted, but which involves physical suffering and difficult circumstances, it is for our good ultimately. Yes, it is painful, but it serves a purpose in our lives. For if we respond to our suffering with the right attitude it will produce in us endurance and character and hope. And it teaches us to rely on God and not on ourselves, and it humbles us, and it is used of God to purify us and to make us holy. And it is conforming us to the likeness of Jesus Christ.

[Matt 5:10-16; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Acts 1:8; Acts 14:22; Acts 26:18; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 1:3-11; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Phil 3:7-11; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 3:13; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Pet 4:12-17]

Eternal Father, Strong to Save

William Whiting

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm does bind the restless wave,
Who bids the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Savior, whose almighty word
The winds and waves submissive heard,
Who walked upon the foaming deep,
And calm amid the rage did sleep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Holy Spirit, who did brood
Upon the waters dark and rude,
And bid their angry tumult cease,
And give for wild confusion peace;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Trinity of love and pow’r,
Your children shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire, and foe,
Protect them where-so-e’er they go;
Thus, evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

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