The Future Is As Bright As The Promises Of God

Archive for July 13, 2014

Living The New Life

“But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” Galatians 2:17-21 (NASB)
As one draws near to Christ, his sinfulness becomes more apparent to himself. “Is Christ then a minister of sin?” Paul’s answer is the strongest possible negative, “May it never be!” [“God forbid” (KJV)]. To suggest it is almost irreverent. As a mirror shows a man that his face is dirty, so Christ reveals to a man his sin. To break the mirror does not clean the man’s face. To deny Christ does not cleanse a man’s sins. Just as there is provision for cleansing one’s face, so Christ offers cleansing for one’s sins. The mirror has rendered the man a service in revealing his dirty face; Christ renders the sinner a service in convicting him of his need for salvation.
The Jews believed that when Paul ceased to observe the requirements of the Mosaic Law, he became a transgressor. He turned the argument about and said that since Christ had justified him from all his sins, he would be a transgressor only if he should continue to try to work out his salvation by deeds of righteousness and ceremonies.
When one realizes that he cannot save himself and casts himself upon the mercy of God, he finds that God is more gracious than he expected Him to be. God forgives him of all his sins (Rom. 8:1), adopts him as His own son (John 1:12), and gives to him eternal life (John 3:16). If an earthly judge should pardon a criminal who has confessed freely, the judge would be considered incompetent.
Is it just for the holy God to forgive sinners? Those who object to salvation by grace on the basis that it is unfair to let a sinner go free without suffering the just penalty of his sins, overlook the fact that whenever God justifies a man (forgives his sins and proclaims him in right relationship with Himself), God also regenerates him. He changes his whole moral disposition so that he now loves what Christ loves and hates what Christ hates. He is born from above (John 3:7), a new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17). The saved man is free from the requirements of the Mosaic Law. The new man he has become is one in whose heart Christ abides to give guidance and direction. He will not be as good as Jesus Christ, but he will sincerely want to be. Dedication to the will of God is a sure sign that one is justified. If one lacks this dedication, he needs to quit trying to save himself by works and to cast himself in humble faith in Jesus Crist upon the mercy of God.
If the keeping of the Law could have saved, there would have been no purpose in Christ’s death. The necessity for His death is proof that there was no other way. Anyone who ever has or ever will be saved will be saved by the grace of God, and not because he has earned the right by his own goodness. God’s grace is in Jesus Christ (John 14:6). “There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12); nor is any other needed. Salvation by some other way would make unnecessary the grace of God.

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