Christ, Our Righteousness, Part 10
This is our tenth installment in this series dealing with Christ, Our Righteousness. You can read through the previous articles by clicking on the link in the previous sentence where they will all come up on the same page.
I think it is safe to say that we have outlined the fact that there are two active sides to our salvation; our legal standing and our fellowship with God. The legal side is what God accomplishes for us and through our faith in the completed redemptive work of Jesus Christ as He applies it to us. That is God’s work and His responsibility. Jesus has accomplished what it is impossible for us to accomplish. He has made salvation available to all people. However, only those who believe Him (or believe in Him) will allow God to apply that salvation to a person’s life. The fellowship that we gain comes to us because of our newly righteous legal standing.
All people will stand before God after this life. We are either seen as righteous now or we are still labeled unrighteousness. Those who continue to live and exist under the unrighteous label do so on borrowed time. Once they step through the door of death into eternity, all opportunities to change their standing before God (by exercising faith in Jesus, allowing God to change our status), are gone…forever.
We are living in an absolute age of Grace. This is why God seems to allow evil to continue. In order for grace to abound, there must be evil and though God seems to be ignoring it, He isn’t. He is simply allowing evil to exist so that His grace would be that much more obvious (Romans 5:20). There is coming a time when the age of Grace will end, replaced with the days of wrath that will lead directly up to His physical return to this planet where He will be the absolute and terrible Judge of all people and nations (Matthew 25:31-46). This coming time of judgment is not even the final judgment the Bible calls the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).
However, until that coming time of judgment (along with the judgment that occurs after death for all people, individually), we live in the age of Grace. Without God’s grace, nothing would be alive on this planet. Grace has stayed God’s hand of final and irrevocable judgment throughout human history and continues to do so today.
In the first nine parts of this series, we pointed to many portions of Scripture to buttress our points. However, we have not exhausted anything regarding what God’s Word says about His grace, redemption/salvation, and our legal standing before Him.
We noted that Jesus said in John 3:18 that everyone is automatically condemned simply by being born into this world. At birth, we are seen as objects of God’s wrath. Certainly, there is an argument to be made that God overlooks the sinfulness of a newly born child until they reach the point where they become cognizant of their own sinfulness. We see such a case in King David’s words regarding the death of his own newborn son as recorded for us in 2 Samuel 2. There, we learn that because of David’s sin, the child that Bathsheba bore died on the seventh day. David’s response to this is found in 2 Samuel 2:22.
While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.
David is convinced that though his son died, he (David) would see him again. There is nothing in Scripture that negates David’s belief, meaning that though God is under no obligation to do so, His grace allows Him to save individuals who have absolutely no capacity to understand or comprehend even the most basic truths of Scripture. David’s son was only seven days old. What could he have possibly understood?
This is God’s grace, which still extends to humanity today.
We need to seriously look at the impact and ramifications of our salvation and I must warn that it will become a bit entangled. It could become a bit confusing, in part due to my own limitations in being able to understand and express it. In part as well, due to the fact of your limitations in being able to understand me.
One thing I’d like to point out before we move on is this. While I appreciate those who come here and read my articles, please try to remember that I write them primarily for myself. It would be helpful for everyone to understand and remind themselves that if no one came here to read even one of my articles, I would still write them because they serve as a record for me, for my growth, and my understanding. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I’m most certainly not trying to engage in debate. I’m not even trying to convince anyone – something I have no capacity to do for anyone else. I am simply writing down my thoughts mainly for me. I suppose I could simply keep a private journal, but I do believe if I have benefited from what I believe the Lord has taught/is teaching me through His Word, others might as well, but that’s still secondary.
Please try to bear this in mind when you read my articles (or books) because there is a tremendous chance that because of the limitations of my words, along with the limitations of your ability to understand my words (since we all have preconceived notions about the things we believe in), you might experience frustration from time to time. If it’s any consolation, I am – at times – frustrated with my own inability to adequately explain things to myself. Language has its limitations.
When you misinterpret my words, it causes you to misunderstand my meaning. I realize I have an obligation to be as clear as possible, but you have the responsibility of being as gracious as possible as well, when it comes to assuming you think you know what I mean. Extend to me the courtesy of the benefit of the doubt. I’m grateful that happens most of the time. However, how often people become confused over what the Bible has to say on certain subjects. Sometimes, it’s difficult to be 100% sure. It should stand to reason that people will be confused at times over what I’m trying to say. I’m not as intelligent as Jesus, Paul, or others in Scripture. At times, Paul still confuses me because of his verbiage, so I have to muscle my way through it and lean on the Lord to clarify things for me.
My salvation is secure. I firmly believe that, based on what I believe the Scriptures teach. My legal standing before God is predicated only on my faith in Jesus and His work on my behalf. I cannot earn salvation and my exercised faith in Him is what opens the door to Him and His salvation (and potential fellowship; Revelation 3:20). Once I exercise faith in Him and that finished work, God grants me salvation. The first step in that salvation process is for God to change my legal standing before Him, permanently. I literally go from being “unrighteous” to “righteous.” This is a determination, a legal declaration by God that can never change, theoretically, in spite of what I do, what I say, or how I act for the rest of my life. I am saved (present-tense, ongoing). Nothing can change that (Romans 8:31).
Thank you for your grace and your courtesies extended to me. I have no desire to write things that are untrue or unscriptural. I have no desire to denigrate the truth of God’s Word. It needs to be unpacked and depending upon the subject, that can be very difficult at times. This happens to be one of those subjects and it will be limited by the limitations of my verbiage (and your understanding), though I will do my best to carefully explain what I mean, based on God’s Word.
May the Lord bless all of us in this endeavor and may He provide me with words that clarify (not muddy) the truth of His Word. Let’s move onward and learn about the other very real ramifications of our salvation in Christ. If it gets too confusing for you, leave it and come back to it later. This is not easy stuff, though I will try to make it as plain as I know how, while I am learning about it at the same time.
The key so far is that when we gained salvation through faith in the completed redemptive work of Jesus, then our legal standing before God permanently changes, for all time and eternity. However, it must be noted that this does not mean that everything we do or think from that point forward is also automatically labeled “righteous” as well. It also does not mean that our fellowship with God (based on our salvation), will remain unbroken. What it does means is that once we exercise faith in God for His salvation, the following happens (not exhaustive):
- our legal status changes forever
- we can begin to fellowship with God
- we have the potential to live a life without sin (though we still will sin)
- how much and how often we sin after gaining salvation depends upon us
- continued fellowship with God should translate to an increased obedience to Him
- as we learn to appreciate our salvation, we should be moving away from sin and toward God through obedience
- we will begin to learn what it means to simply follow the “rules” and becoming enslaved to the Law or…
- being obedient to Him because we love Him
- we should experience a greater compassion and love for others, especially those of the household of faith
We’re going to do our best to cover these things and more and we’ll of course, see what Scripture has to say about them as well! I’m looking forward to it.
Entry filed under: christianity, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: always saved, christ our righteousness, eternal security, now no condemnation, once saved, salvation.