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This is one of my best friends’ babies. In her hands is a custom order from someone who’s friend lost her son to suicide last week. A son who was this age once. A son who was fiercely loved and valued and squeezed tight. A son who will always be their baby. My heart cannot fathom the overwhelming grief. Our only hope? To lift our eyes to the One who is our help in every season and situation. Jesus, come quickly.
It seems the Lord is teaching me a deeper (more experiential) meaning of what Paul talks about when he describes servants of God as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10a). • You see, there is so much good happening. So much joy, provision, and depth of community. So many doors opening. So many opportunities to minister and be ministered to. So much love and humility and grace and kindness and care that it has made me—quite literally—cry into a plate of chicken and waffles from the mercy of it all. • These scattered beams can only be explained by the Lord, who is dropping joy bombs and grace explosions all around. • But it’s not all chicken and waffles. • (Link to blog post in profile ❤️)
“All in all, it was a never-to-be forgotten summer—one of those summers which comes seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going—one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” -L.M. Montgomery
“[It is] as if [David] had said, Separated from God I am nothing, and all that I attempt to do ends in nothing; but when I come to Him, I find an abundant supply of strength. It is highly necessary for us to consider what we are without God; for no man will cast himself wholly upon God, but he who feels himself in a fainting condition, and who despairs of the sufficiency of his own powers. We will seek nothing from God but what we are conscious of wanting in ourselves. ...the reason why God is represented as a portion is, because He alone is abundantly sufficient for us, and because in Him the perfection of our happiness consists.” -John Calvin, on Psalm 73:26

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Monday Morning Munch No. 35 – Justified

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. -Romans 5:1-2

“Thank You for the blessed truth of justification. Help me to be able to verbalize these glorious truths and doctrines and cling, not to them, but to Jesus.” 

That was a prayer I scribbled down during last Sunday’s sermon on justification. I want to not just hear these awesome theological truths but also be able to share them with others when God allows. So, to practice, I’m going to write some of the little nuggets of truth here.

This isn’t a typical blog for me, but this doctrine is so foundational for every believer’s life I thought it necessary to recap. And, every time I rehearse it (which is often because I am so performance-oriented), it shifts my focus from myself back to Christ and His perfect work.

Doctrine of Justification = God declares us righteous through the satisfactory and substitutionary work of Jesus on the cross

Just reading that humbles my heart and makes it warm with thankfulness, because I know I could never become righteous by my own merit (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 59:2, Isaiah 64:6). However, if you keep digging into the doctrine of justification your heart will continue to swell as you see God’s love and mercy displayed to us through Jesus.

  • Justification is the pardon of sins
    • “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.” -Colossians 2:13-14
  • Justification is the gift of righteousness
    • “And to the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
      “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
      and whose sins are covered;
      blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”” -Romans 4:5-8

      1. The refusal to impute your sins to your standing (see above verses)
      2. The imputation of the perfect obedience of Christ to your standing 

  • Justification is God’s acceptance of Christ given to the sinner
    • “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.” -Romans 5:9-10

Do you get all of that? Nothing is dependent on us. Our salvation, our sanctification, our glorification, our standing with God, His acceptance of us–nothing is dependent on us. It’s all dependent on God and He accepts His children because He accepted Christ and our lives are hidden with Him (Colossians 3:3).

Justification tells me I don’t have to constantly strive for the approval of God by performing for Him, because nothing I do can make Him love me any more and nothing I do can make Him love me any less. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Praise God for the Gospel and the blessed doctrine of justification!

How is justification possible?

“For our sake He (God) made Him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” -2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus, the Son of God, didn’t just die on a cross, He literally became sin. He became sin so we could have a way to God and so that God could justly impute Jesus’ righteousness to our account and we could have fellowship with Him. This is one of those things that sounds too good to be true, but really is true. And it’s worth staking your whole life on.

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