A Change in Heart

God justifies anyone who receives and accepts by faith, the sacrifice of  His son, Jesus Christ and the atonement of Him.  That Jesus took our place by dying a death that belongs to us and died for the forgiveness of our sins.  God is the living and the everlasting king.  “But now, God has shown us a way…..right in His sight when they believe in Jesus.” (Rm 3:21-26) 

This is the heart of the Christian journey.  God rescues us from the clutches of sin and shows us a new way to live, free of sin.  So how does one get right with God? One way is found in the Mosaic Law – the ten commandments.  Living a life that is respectful of the law.  We live a life that is righteous is the eyes of the law.  The other is to accept Jesus Christ into your heart and life.  We cannot give ourselves the title of being righteous.  It is God who does when we accept Him (justification).  So what is God’s definition of righteous?  We act in accord with divine or moral law.  Develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.  When we do this we are justified.  Righteousness and justification are closely linked.

God declares the justified as anyone who believes in Jesus Christ and believing is a declaration of your faith in Jesus Christ.  It is important that we genuinely take that step of faith.  God is just – the very one who justifies is the one who provided the atonement meant to be received by faith.  He provided Christ to atone for my sin and for your sin.

How can one be justified by God on the basis of Jesus Christ and His blood?  There is logic to this.  If a man died on that cross on Calvary Hill instead of Jesus Christ, then man’s blood which was shed would not have been for all.  His death was just a bloody mess.  The death would have been useless because man was born into sin. Man would still be bound by the shackles of sin.  Jesus Christ was born a virgin birth.  He was born blameless without sin.  So Jesus died a scapegoat who carried all of man’s sin to the cross – past, present and future.  

Justification has two dimensions.  The first is the legal basis for God’s verdict of justified.  Receiving the verdict does not make man guiltless.  Man is still a sinner because he was born into sin but the shackles of sin and the burden it imposes is broken.  Man then is free from the excess weight that sin carries and is free to rejoice and praise and worship God without being held back by his sin.  God’s holiness allows Him to forgive sin but He cannot look at sin.  God declares one to be justified as they are cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

The second dimension is the efficacy of the verdict.  Does it have the power or capacity to produce the desired effect and the ability to achieve results?  Yes, it does!  If it did not, such a verdict would be moot and be an exercise in futility.  The purpose of justification is to allow sinners to gather in one place on Sunday. The church.  The real purpose and goal is to build the church.  To allow sinners to come together and build each other up and allow each other to use their gifts to aid in the spread of the Gospel.  The sinner is not pardoned, not let go on condition and there is no double jeopardy.  The sinner is set free from the burden of sin and free will allows him to go out and use that freedom as he wishes.  God is just, in justifying those by faith that have accepted Him and believe that Jesus Christ is who He says He is.  God is not sacrificing anything but is giving.  He is giving freely.  He is giving freely of His love, grace, freedom from the shackles of sin and much more.

If Jesus’ work on the cross alone – was enough for God – is it enough for me?  Yes.

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