Justifiction by Fatih

When through repentance and faith we accept Christ as our Saviour, the Lord pardons our sins, and remits the penalty prescribed for the transgression of the law. The sinner then stands before God as a just person; he is taken into favor with Heaven, and through the Spirit has fellowship with the Father and the Son. Then there is yet another work to be accomplished, and this is for a progressive nature. The soul is to be sanctified through the truth. And this also is accomplished through faith. For it is only by the grace of Christ, which we receive through faith, that the character can be transformed.

It is important that we understand clearly the nature of faith. There are many who believe that Christ is the Saviour of the world, that the gospel is true and reveals the plan of salvation, yet they do not possess saving faith. They are intellectually convinced of the truth, but this is not enough; in order to be justified, the sinner must have that faith that appropriates the merits of Christ to his own soul. We read that the devils "believe, and tremble;" but their belief does not bring them justification, neither will the belief of those who give a merely intellectual assent to the truths of the Bible bring them the benefits of salvation. This belief fails of reaching the vital point, for the truth does not engage the heart or transform the character.

In genuine, saving faith, there is trust in God, through the belief in the great atoning sacrifice made by the Son of God on Calvary. In Christ, the justified believer beholds his only hope and deliverer. Belief may exist without trust, but confidence born of trust cannot exist without faith. Every sinner brought to a knowledge of the saving power of Christ, will make manifest this trust in greater degree as he advances in experience.

The words of the apostle shed light upon what constitutes genuine faith. He says, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." To believe with the heart is more than conviction, more than assent to the truth. This faith is sincere, earnest, and engages the affections of the soul; it is the faith that works by love, and purifies the heart.

God reveals Christ to the sinner, and he beholds him dying upon Calvary for the sin of his creature. He then understands how he is condemned by the law of God, for the Spirit works upon his conscience, enforcing the claim of the broken law. He is then given the opportunity of defying the law, of rejecting the Saviour, or of yielding to its claims, and receiving Christ as his Redeemer. God will not compel the service of any man, but he reveals to him his obligation, unfolds to him the requirements of his holy law, and sets before him the result of his choice-to obey and live, or to disobey and perish.

The command from Heaven is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." When the force of this requirement is understood, the conscience is convicted, the sinner is condemned. The carnal mind, which is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, rises up in rebellion against the holy claims of the law. But as the sinner beholds Christ hanging upon the cross of Calvary, suffering for his transgression, deeper conviction takes hold upon him, and he sees something of the offensive nature of sin. Where there is a true conception of the spirituality and holiness of the divine law, the sinner is under condemnation, and his sins stand arrayed before him in their true character. By the law is the knowledge of sin, and in its light he understands the evil of secret thoughts and deeds of darkness. God's law presents matters in a light in which he has never before viewed his life. He sees that what we speak with our tongue, what we do with our hands, what we exhibit in our outer life, is but a very small part of what goes to make up our character. The law penetrates to the thoughts and intents of the heart. It searches out the dark passions indulged in secret, the jealousies, envyings, theft, murder, malignity, ambition, and evil that lurk hidden from the eyes of men. How often do men exalt those in whose hearts are dark things that for want of opportunity to display themselves are kept from sight. But God's law registers all hidden evil. The wise man declares, "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."

Many who claim to believe that the law has a binding obligation upon human intelligences, think lightly of secret sins, and carry themselves with boldness, as satisfied in their self-righteousness as if they were really doers of the word of God. Their work bears the impress of their defective character, and God cannot stand as their helper. God cannot cooperate with them.

Character is tested and registered by Heaven more by the inward spirit, the hidden motive, than by that which appears to men. Men may have a pleasing exterior, and be outwardly excellent, while they are but whited sepulchers, full of corruption and uncleanness. Their works are registered as unsanctified, unholy. Their prayers and works, devoid of the righteousness of Christ, do not ascend before God as sweet fragrance, but they are abomination in the eyes of the Lord. To those who will open their eyes, the law presents a perfect likeness of the soul, a complete photograph of the inner man; and as this picture is unveiled before the sinner, he is constrained to acknowledge that he is sold under sin, but that the law is holy, and just, and good.
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Paul declared, "I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." The apostle recognize the claims of the law, and did not break out against it because it revealed to him his true situation. He acknowledged the likeness which it presented, but he did not say to the law, "Cleanse me, purify me." He turned at once to Calvary. He fell on the Rock Christ Jesus, and was broken. He knew that repentance which needeth not to be repented of. He understood that "by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified;" for it is not the province of law to save, but to condemn; not to pardon, but to convict. It cannot to any degree lessen the rigor of its claims. If one requirement could be set aside, the whole law might be abolished; for to change any commandment to save a defaulter would make of none effect the value of the rest. The law cannot save those whom it condemns; it cannot rescue the perishing. There is but one hope for the sinner. Is it in outward ceremonies? in rigorous performance of religious duties? is it in mourning and penance, and in devoting hours to prayer and meditation? in practicing self-denial? in giving to the poor, and in doing deeds of merit?--No, none of these things will work the salvation of the soul. The question is asked, "Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"--No; no man can stand before God in his own merit. Those who are saved will be saved because Jesus has paid the full debt; and man can do nothing, absolutely nothing, to merit salvation. Christ says, "Without me, ye can do nothing." Then whose is the merit?--It all belongs to our Redeemer. All the capabilities of man come alone through Christ, and we may say of our best performances, "All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given to thee."

It is the grace of Christ that draws men unto himself, and in him alone is hope and salvation for the sinner. Man is unworthy of any favor from God; but as Christ becomes his righteousness, he may ask and receive, in his name and through his merit, the grace and favor of God. Jesus bore the just penalty of the law, that we might have his grace; but this fact does not mean the subversion of the law. Paul asks, "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law." The bestowal of the grace of Christ upon the repentant sinner is that he may be brought into perfect harmony with the government of heaven. In the cross, mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

When we look to the cross of Calvary, we see that the highest claims of the law were met in the efficiency of the offering. Hence, Jesus is called "the Lord our righteousness." When we lay hold on the merit of Christ, and are able to say, "The Lord is my Saviour, my righteousness," then we are justified by faith, and have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Food For Life

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.       2 Corinthians 3:18

Tell of His Grace

Testimonies of the power of grace to change lives......

 

I was born into a non Adventist home, well that is an understatement really. My father was and still is a heavily practicing Satanist and as such, myself being a female, made me a target for ridicule and I was most certainly placed way below my brothers in the family......Tamara's Testimony

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