Jesus came to redeem us from the consequences of the fall – Part 3
The doctrine of redemption can be summarised as follows: (1) The state of sin out of which we must be redeemed: The NT represents humans as alienated from God (Rom 3:10-18), under the dominion of satanic powers (Acts 10:38; 26:18), slaves to sin (Rom 6:6; 7:14), and in need of deliverance from sin’s guilt, punishment and power (Acts 26:18; Rom 1:18; Col 1:13).
(2) The price paid to free us from this bondage: Jesus Christ secured the ransom by shedding His blood and giving His life (Mat 20:28; 1 Cor 6:20; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:12; 1 Pet 1:18-19).
(3) The resultant state of the redeemed: Believers redeemed by Christ are now free from the law (in the sense of legalistic ordinances) and free from sin’s slavery and Satan’s dominion (Acts 26:18; Rom 6:7). (a) This freedom in Christ results in righteousness and loving obedience to Christ Jesus, expressed practically in responsible love (Rom 6:16-18; 12:9-21; 13:8,10). (b) Paradoxically, freedom comes through loving obedience, just as glory comes through suffering (Rom 8:17; cf. 1 Cor 6:19-20; 7:22-23).
(4) The NT teaching of redemption foreshadowed by redemption in the OT: The greatest OT redemptive event was the exodus from Egypt (see Ex 6:7; 12:26). Furthermore, through the sacrificial system, the blood of animals was the price paid for the atonement for sin (see Lev 9:8).
JUSTIFICATION The third word for salvation is Justification. What is Justification?
“To be justified” (Gkdikaioē) means to be acquitted, declared “not guilty” (in a judicial sense) and “declared righteous in God’s sight” (in a theological sense). Thus, it is directly related to God’s forgiveness in Christ of the guilty and repentant sinner, who then becomes as if he or she had never sinned. Justification is the judicial aspect of the conversion experience in which the believer is viewed from God’s perspective. God the Father, because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, imputes, or credits the righteousness of Christ to the believer. Paul says this “credited righteousness” is not really our own, but is Christ’s (Phil 3:9). God the Father sees believers wrapped in the perfect righteousness of Christ. This is what allows God to accept mortals into His heaven― since no one can ever be good enough to merit heaven. The term justification is best understood in the analogy of a courtroom. Jesus Christ is our advocate, or attorney, who is able to present us before the Father as being credited with His righteousness. The following are several important points to know about justification.
(1) Justification is only one dimension of the conversion experience. At the moment of conversion, several other things are taking place. Regeneration is the initiation of the new life in Christ, literally being “born again” (Jn 3:3). Christ comes to live in the believer (Gal 2:16-21). The Holy Spirit abides with the believer (Rom 8:9) and energises the believer to live victoriously (Rom 8:5-13). We are given the “witness of the Spirit” that we belong to the family of God (Rom 8:16). There are many blessings that come to the believer at the instant of conversion. Justification is that aspect of conversion that features our standing before a holy God. Justification, or imputed righteousness, must be seen alongside the imparted righteousness, or sanctification, that begins with regeneration.
(2) Justification is a gift of God (Rom 3:24; Eph 2:8). No one can put himself or herself right before God by keeping the law or by performing good works (Rom 4:2-5), “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).
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