Tag Archive | two

Justified

I absolutely love how God works! He is so amazing! For example, in my previous blog post entitled “No Sin is Too Big,” I quoted from 1 Corinthians 6:11, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

After I posted it, I wondered, what does the word “justified” really mean? I think I know what it means, but I also considered, do all my blog readers understand the meaning of the word? After a few hours, the topic faded from my mind. Until two days later, on Sunday, God generously provided me with two succinct learning opportunities regarding the concept of justification.

My first routine activity every Sunday morning is to select a flavorful K-cup and brew a cup of Joe with my new Keurig machine. Next, I plop down in my favorite recliner, grab the remote control, and turn on the TV to either the Inspiration channel or the Lifetime channel and watch Dr. Charles Stanley, from In Touch Ministries, preach two sermons back to back.

In his first sermon today titled Your Convictions about Eternal Security, Dr. Stanley explained that the word “justified” means we are declared “no longer guilty” by the blood of Jesus. His atoning, sacrificial death on the cross reconciled us into a right relationship with God. When we confess our sin, God is faithful and “just” to forgive us and declare us no longer guilty because He sent His Son, Jesus, as a living sacrifice to pay the death penalty for our sin. One of the Scripture passages for this message came from Romans 5:6-10. Dr. Stanley’s In Touch Sermon 06/26/16

I cracked a smile, pleased that God had designed a way to answer my justification question so swiftly. After watching Dr. Stanley’s sermons, I showered, dried my hair, slapped on some makeup, and got dressed for church.

At Radiant Church this morning, we enjoyed an excellent message by guest pastor, Curt Anes. Romans Road Chapter 5 – Sermon He started his sermon with a definition of the word—you guessed it—justified. When I heard the word, I grinned, even more pleased that God had orchestrated the universe on this day in such a way that I would receive more clarity on the word I had questioned a couple days prior.

Pastor Anes offered a similar definition, “Justified is a divine benefit we have in Christ as Christ followers. We are declared righteous in God’s sight because of what Jesus Christ did for us.”

Supporting it with Scripture, Pastor Anes read Romans 5:1-2, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

Next Pastor Anes read from Romans 5:8-9 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!”

Also, Romans 3:22-24 says, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

In summary, when we confess Jesus as our Savior and invite Him into our hearts, His blood washes us whiter than snow, and He declares us no longer guilty, but righteous children of God. His sacrificial death on the cross paid our sin debt in full and redeemed us from our slavery to sin, making us not only children of God, but also co-heirs with Christ.

I heard two sermons within two hours from two different pastors in two different parts of the country that both taught me two similar Biblical definitions of a term I had questioned two days earlier. Is this a coincidence? I think not!

I am so grateful that the Creator of the universe made the time to weave the answers to my questions into messages from these dedicated men of God that I would listen to today.

Lord, I thank You and praise You for Your wonderful works. Your ways are higher than my ways and Your thoughts higher than my thoughts. I appreciate the way You speak to me in my thoughts and through the instruction of wise, godly people. Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit who brings Your Word to life in so many ways. I am eternally grateful for Your amazing grace in the gift of Your Son who died for me, that I might be JUSTIFIED by His blood, no longer guilty, but made righteous in Your sight. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

 

Are You Ready?

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7).

Planning a wedding ceremony and reception is a monumental task. The bride and groom spend months scheduling, organizing, and formulating all the details—the attendants, the pastor, the church, the reception venue, the DJ, the photographer, the wedding music, the colors, the decorations, the meal, and so on.

A year in advance, the bride shops for the wedding dress of her dreams. Next, it’s the veil, shoes, jewelry, and lingerie. Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

As the big day draws near, the bride begins to prepare herself personally. She tans her body, so her skin tone makes that beautiful dress come alive. She cuts and colors or highlights her hair the week before so it’s at that perfect stage on the day of. She enjoys a manicure and pedicure the day before with her bridal party. A “run through” of the wedding ceremony is practiced that evening so the attendants know what’s expected of them, and the wedding affair will be executed perfectly the next day. The groom’s parents host a rehearsal dinner, where the bride and groom relay their gratitude for the presence and support of their close family and friends who participate in the wedding.

Finally, the special day arrives. The exciting event the bride and groom so carefully planned comes to a culmination. The bride wakes up early and starts her day with a warm, relaxing shower or a soak in the tub. Her nerves surge and her mind races going over all the details of the day. The entire day is devoted to preparing herself for her groom. A professional artist styles her hair and applies her makeup with great perfection. At her side, her attendants help her get ready, physically and emotionally. The bride’s mother holds her daughter’s dress as she steps into it. The groom’s mother assists her with her veil. The maid of honor fastens a necklace around the bride’s neck. At last, she is ready to join the bridegroom for the long-awaited wedding—a union of their hearts, minds, and bodies. The two shall become one.   *******

Are we as diligent about getting ourselves ready for our Bridegroom? Do we spend months and years preparing for our marriage to the Lamb? Will we be ready when that special day arrives?

When we accept that Jesus Christ died for our sins, believe that God raised Him from the dead, and confess Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we become a child of the King. He washes us whiter than snow and clothes us in His righteousness, so that we may be reconciled to God. Then, He sends His Holy Spirit, our Best Man, to make ready our spirits. He dwells in us and prepares us for the day we will meet our Bridegroom. This begins our sanctification process where the Spirit counsels us, encourages us, teaches us, and guides us to become more Christ-like.

It is such a blessing that Jesus receives us just as we are. We need no special hairstyles or manicures to prepare ourselves for Him. We don’t have to shed bad habits and sinful behavior before coming to Christ. By His amazing grace, Bride getting readyHe accepts us in whatever condition we approach Him. And then, He begins His transforming work in us, making us a new creation in Christ. The old fades away, the new life is here. Rejoice and be glad. Give Him all the glory!Sindy-Bride001

Becoming more like Jesus is the “getting ready” process. We need to get to know God better by reading His Word daily, allowing the Scriptures to permeate our hearts and minds. Tuning in to the voice of the Holy Spirit within us is vital in developing a mind and heart like Christ. We need to make time to walk in close relationship with Jesus by talking to Him, listening to Him, and obeying Him. Loving and serving others, by laying down our lives for our friends, will provide opportunities to share with them the goodness of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. These efforts describe some of our preparation work for our special event. This life is our rehearsal to get us ready for the big day when we will meet our Bridegroom, become united in marriage, and live happily ever after in eternity with Him.

Are you ready for your Bridegroom? How will you prepare for your big day—the wedding of the Lamb?