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THE BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN - PART 3

MONDAY 15 AUGUST 2022


Who is a born again Christian? A born again Christian is a new creation in Christ Jesus, characterised by newness of life because old things are passed away and all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 reads, "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (NLT). So it's important to note that since old life is gone, we are now raised to walk in the newness of life. But how did it happen? Let's find out in the referenced Scripture below.

Reference: 1 Corinthians 6:11 New King James Version (NKJV) "...But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."


This is exactly how the new creation happened. Beloved, you became a brand new person in God's sight because you were washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God. Today we are looking at how we became justified in Christ. What does the word "justify" mean in Greek translation? Dikaióō is the accurate translation which means "to divinely approve - on the basis of Christ's full sacrifice for sin which liberates a sinner from all divine condemnation. So it's a verdict of judgement that God makes in favour of the ungodly, which changes his spiritual status from a condemned sinner to righteous person or saint. Justification grants us absolution for sin because it is a legal release from guilt, deserved judgement and punishment, which leads to being declared righteous.


We are justified by God's grace which is a free gift but is received through faith in Christ and it grants us the nature of righteousness. In a nutshell, justification is the event or process by which sinners are made or declared to be righteous, having received forgiveness through faith in Christ. This implies that our justification is by faith in the finished work of Christ. Imputed righteousness, which is our nature in Christ, is received during justification, which takes place on account of the new birth. So our justification is a means to an end, which is righteousness. Through it, righteousness is imputed to the ungodly, by grace and faith in Christ. But imparted righteousness is conveyed to us through the "sanctifying work of the Spirit", a part of this topic which I treated in part 2.


Christ's death and resurrection which denote His eternal triumph over sin, Satan and death, provided our justification before God. By the means of this justification, a sinner saved by grace was made right before God and pronounced righteous by his faith. Now God's righteousness becomes the nature of the saved because Christ's death became a perfect sacrificial offering to God on behalf of the judgment and punishment of their sins. So Jesus' coming to the earth was to demonstrate the notion of giving his life as a ransom for mankind in order to justify many, which is God's plan for the redemption of the world (see Mark 10:45).


Having justified us by faith, God planned to use the saints to demonstrate His righteousness. In Romans 3:26 (ESV), Paul noted that God's plan for justification was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. No wonder in Romans 1:17 (NIV), it is clearly stated, 'For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed - a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."' Did you get it? This righteousness from God is revealed in the gospel as being credited to the saved, who has been declared righteous through justification by faith alone, apart from works, and its entirely based on Christ's atoning sacrifice. Why by faith alone? Our justification and righteousness are by faith alone because God requires faith response to the finished work of Christ. Since the sacrificial work is done and finished by Christ, receiving God's righteousness does not require our own works.


Someone might say, "Are you truly right that we are justified by faith in Christ alone, without works? Yes this is exactly the truth. Then what about James 2:14-24?, where apostle James pointed out saying, "But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works...Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?" And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (NKJV). Beloved, if you hold an in-depth study of what James was laying emphasis on, you'll come to the understanding that what he actually meant was this: Good works, acts of faith and charity are the fruit or true evidence of the faith that justifies, not that we are justified by our own works. Shalom!


Scripture Reading - Romans 3:27-28; Romans 3:30-31; Galatians 2:16; Romans 4:2-5; Romans 5:1; Galatians 3:24.


Guided Prayer: Dear Father I honour you today for sending your only Son, Jesus Christ, to come into the world and deal with the problem of sin once for all. Through His atonement for sin, my justification was made possible by my faith and I'm declared your righteousness, as a brand new creation. Therefore, I'm habitually filled with your grace to walk in righteousness and bear its fruit in my world, thereby demonstrating the mind of Christ and walking as He walked on earth, in Jesus' Name, Amen!




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