When sinful man confesses, he has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23), he begins an honest self-assessment. God is working to align the man to the truth about his sinful self. God is the righteous judge of man (Gen 18:25), and He has assessed man’s performance in righteousness to be only evil all the time (Gen 6:5).
The judgment of God comes from the position of holiness and perfection. God Himself is the moral and ethical standard to which man is woefully deficient. Man is a criminal in the justice system of God. Fallen into a life of lawlessness, man warrants the full extent of justice to be applied against him. The wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (Rom 1:18). God is not an emotion-driven judge as man can be. He judges according to the perfect law, in righteousness, showing no partiality (Gal 2:6; Eph 6:9). Blinded to the holiness and righteousness of God, and being deceived into thinking he is good, man has no fear of God. He continues in the way of the world, which is the way of sin. Man is an incessant offense to the holy God.
When man is confronted by the Holy Spirit, wielding the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, it has a hardening effect upon man’s heart (Jn 16:8; 1 Thess 1:5). Man’s enmity with God is exposed. His hatred for God (Rom 1:30), who tells man he is wrong, is inflamed. The result is man competing with God for the throne of the will (Gen 3:5). Whose will must be done? Man insists on his will, even claiming that God gave him a free will to do as he pleases. Man thinks he chooses good, even God, with his free will. He imagines he is the captain of his own soul. He thinks he controls his own life and destiny.
Man is on the way of destruction (Mt 7:13). He is hurtling toward death, and worse, the second death (Rev20:14–15). This is the eternal death of the soul in the prison of eternal punishment (Mt 25:46). Hell is the justice of God, in His rectifying man’s innumerable sins against His infinite majesty.
Who can be saved from God and His justice (Mt 3:7; Lk 3:7)? There is no religion, nor philosophy, nor pecuniary remuneration that can redeem the soul of man. His attempted works of righteousness fall short, being evaluated as filthy rags (Is 64:6). No mere man could offer himself as a substitute sacrificial death in the place of his friend. What is man’s hope?
One solution exists to solve man’s sin crisis. Man must be made right by his very enemy, the Lord God of all. The judge, who must judge justly, is the same One who has Himself satisfied His own justice. God sent His only begotten Son to offer Himself as the substitute sacrifice needed by sinful man (Heb 9:14). He atoned for the sins of a select people by His death on the cross. Jesus Christ justified His church by His precious blood poured out on Calvary’s hill (Rom 5:9). Justification is a declaration by the righteous Judge, who pardons sinners, through their debt of sin being paid-in-full, with Christ’s acceptable redemption (Col 2:14). We were bought for a price (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23), reconciled to our enemy (Rom 5:10), who has become our best friend, even family.
The blood of Christ, being the blood of the covenant of grace, justifies those to whom it is applied (Heb 12:24; 1 Pet 1:2). The sprinkling of blood is an act of grace, as a cleansing application by the Holy Spirit. The blood shed on Golgotha’s tree, the grace applied, results in the witness of faith. Grace grants faith in the blood of Christ , heard from the mouth of the believer, who believes in his heart (Rom 10:9–10; 12:3; Gal 3:22; Phil 1:29; Heb 12:2).
The justified, redeemed people of God bear witness to the world that they are justified by the blood of Christ, justified by the grace of God, and justified by the faith given to them to believe in the Gospel of what God has done for them (Acts 1:8). God has declared His people, “not guilty,” and His people declare the praise of His glorious grace!
Spokane Valley, Washington
October 3, 2021