Friday, May 15, 2020
Not what We did...but Christ
Everyone who believes is justified. Acts 13:39 NKJV
The believer in Christ receives an immediate justification, the declaration of rightness with God. Faith does not produce this blessing in time, but now. So far as justification is the result of faith, it is given to the soul the moment it truly believes Christ, accepting Him as its all in all. Are those who now stand before the throne of God justified? So are we, as truly and as clearly justified as those who walk in white and sing melodious praise to the accompaniment of harps. The thief on the cross was justified the moment he turned the eye of faith to Jesus; and the aged apostle Paul, after years of service, was not more justified than that thief, who had no service at all. Today, we are accepted in the Beloved, absolved from sin, acquitted in the court of God. Oh, what a soul-stirring thought! There are some clusters of Eshcol’s vine (Numbers 13:24) that we will not be able to gather until we enter heaven, but this is a vine that runs over the wall. This is not like the crops of Canaan, which we can’t eat until we cross the Jordan; but this is part of the manna in the wilderness, a portion of the daily nourishment that God supplies for our journeying (Joshua 5:11–12). We are now—even now—pardoned. Even now our sins are put away. Even now we stand accepted in God’s sight, as though we had never been guilty. “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NLT). Even now, there is not a sin marked against one of God’s people in His record book. Who would dare to make an accusation against them? There is not a speck, spot, wrinkle, or any such thing remaining on an individual believer in this matter of justification in the sight of the Judge of all the earth. Let this present privilege awaken us to our present duty. Now, while our lives last, let us spend and be spent for our sweet Lord Jesus. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
I admit that the song "By the Way of the Cross" has stuck with me more than most recent songs do. There is hint of it in this devotional today.
I am also reminded of Paul's words as well. Oh wretched man that I am. He and I and probably you too, are very much aware of your sin and shame.
I know for years that I struggled heavily with coming down on myself for my sin. Like I was angry at me for what I had done. I was attempting to punish me for them. As odd as it may sound, it took years for me to grasp that there was no need. I was and am justified before Christ Jesus.
I really liked what Spurgeon said today, that reminded me of that song, of how Paul was just as justified as the thief who had nothing to his name but belief.
Think on that for a moment. Because I firmly believe that the last person who will be saved before Christ returns will be the same as the first. There will be no works, no merits to their name. Nothing they can claim other than that they believed.
We live in a judgmental society. One that loves to misquote the Scriptures on the subject when it suits their purpose. Both inside and outside of the Church. It's possibly the most twisted passage abused from the Bible.
Even this coronavirus has brought out a variation of the condemnation of others on the wearing of masks. In certain circumstances I agree with them being used. Still other situations it's like common sense was thrown out the window. The circumstances don't fit the need. But along with it comes either acceptance or condemnation from the public.
Inclusiveness is another that is just as abused. Inclusiveness that includes harassment of those who aren't going along with it isn't right.
In Christ, in what He did, not us, not our definitions or understanding is what justifies us who have come to Him for Salvation.
People of this world, by and large, have had their thinking and thoughts twisted by Satan. Satan wants his will to be done on Earth and still wants Heaven as well. Although Scripture says it will never happen.
Satan weaves lies very intricately and subtly. With great care and seduction he does it. Remember you have been alive a few dozen or so years. He's been perfecting the perversion of minds and sin for centuries when it comes to mankind.
He absolutely doesn't care what happens to your life as long as it doesn't come to Christ for Salvation. He doesn't care what abuses or atrocities you go through as long as you do not get saved. Likewise he cares not what he has to do or say to stagnate the life of a believer. Getting believers side tracking is his best work.
This is why Scripture tells us to set our minds on things above and not the things of this world. To focus on psalms, hymns and Spiritual songs. To forgive and forget as Christ has done for you. To be a witness of the great things that God has done for you. And if you need to, open your mouth to tell others. Your life should already show it. As Christ gave us the example of a candle in a room for all to see, such should be our lives. Nobody with eyes needs a definitive explanation of light to know that it is light. It's the source of that light that matters.
Christ has justified us before the Father. It's nothing we have done or ever could do. Our works aren't necessary but are the result of a life with Christ.
As you get going today consider how your light is shining. Is it dim or bright? It can be one or the other or in between based on your walk with God. Are you in prayer? Do you pray only about yourself or do you remember others? Are you in God's Word? Not once a week but daily? Are you filling your mind with secular songs and politics or with what matters to God?
We who are in Christ Jesus are justified, but we also need to remember that it's not an excuse to continue a life living for yourself. Remember indeed that our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.