Rom 4:25                  He Was Raised for Our Justification                 4/4/2010         ßà   

  • God’s Plan Must Be Completed (Eph 1:3-7, Acts 13:38-39, Eph 2:8-9)

 

 

 

 

#1.       The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (1Cor 15:20-22, Eph 2:8, Rom 4:23-25)

 

 

 

 

  • The Content of Justification (Eph 1:7, Gal 4:4-7, 3:11, Phil 2:6-11)

 

 

 

 

#2.       Six Steps of Justification (Num 23:21, Rom 9:11-13, 8:29-30, Joh 17:2, 19:30, Isa 53:11, Eph 2:4-6, Rom 4:25, 3:24, 5:1, 8:23, Gal 3:22, 2:20)

 

 

 

 

#3,       Justification and Faith (Rom 3:24,28, Acts 16:31)

 

 

 

 

  • The Faith of James (Jam 2:14-17)

 

 

 

 

  • Sin Is Not Dead (Rom 6:2-18)

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 1:3 (2X). Today is Easter Sunday. Today’s sermon is a memorial to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are not celebrating His resurrection again; that has been done in AD 33. Today we can only erect a memorial to that event. The Bible says, “He was raised for our justification”, and that is also the title of this sermon, “He Was Raised for Our Justification”. Let me begin this sermon by taking you to the beginning of time.

  • God’s Plan Must Be Completed (Eph 1:3-7, Acts 13:38-39, Eph 2:8-9)

Long before God created the first speck of dust, God the Father chose a bride for His Son. This was actually the purpose for this creation. The bride for His Son consisted of a large number of people who were not like the angels, but were actually dirty rotten sinners, chosen from among all the inhabitants of the earth, who were also dirty rotten sinners. In order for these chosen ones, these elect, to inherit the kingdom of heaven, their sins must be washed away, for God abhors looking upon sins. We read in Hab

Hab 1:13a “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.”

And so, God sent His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to this earth to wash away the sins, and the guilt of sins, of His elect by atoning for our sins on the cross. We read about all of this in Eph 1:3-7,

Eph 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

This is God’s plan, also called the decree of God. This we need to understand before we go any further. God chose an elect group of people, and He poured upon them His blessings even before the foundation of the world. Verse 3 says that God has blessed us before the foundation of the world and has made us accepted before Him because we were and are “in Christ”. And on what basis did He select us? The answer is given in verse 5: “according to the good pleasure of his will”. And now God’s plan needs to be completed by the hands of God, which is called the providence of God, for our sins needed to be washed away. Please turn in your Bibles to the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 13:38 (2X). The apostle Paul is giving here a sermon to the Jews of Antioch in Pisidia, in which he speaks of Jesus, who was the promised Messiah, a descendant of David, and who was killed according to all that was written of Him as atonement for our sins. But God raised Him from the dead. Then we read in Acts 13:38-39,

Ac 13:38-39  Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

All that believe are justified from all their sins. What does that mean? It means that we are declared righteous in the sight of God, as righteous as God Himself. And we believe because we have been justified. It is not that we are justified because we believe, for then our salvation would be a reward for the work of believing, and that would conflict with the words, “according to the good pleasure of his will.” No, we have been justified before the foundation of the world, and that is why we believe. Our faith was a gift from God, for God says in Eph 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” To be saved by grace means that all our sins have been forgiven as a free gift from Christ, and we lay hold on this assurance by faith which was also a free gift from God for it is the faith of Christ, which is a perfect faith that was given to us. Who is eligible to receive these free gifts? All the elect will receive these gifts guaranteed, for God placed them in Christ even before the foundation of the world. Therefore we have been declared favorite status before time began, or we can also say that we were justified from eternity past. What is the definition of justification? In the words of Herman Hoeksema:

Justification is that act of God’s grace whereby He imputes to the sinner – who is in himself guilty and condemned, but elect in Christ – the perfect righteousness of God in Christ, acquits him of all guilt and punishment on the ground of Christ’s merits, and gives him a right to eternal life.  

Since this act of God’s grace occurred before the foundation of the world, before we existed, and before our souls existed, this act of justification was a legal declaration of God. Justification is God imputing, or charging, Christ’s righteousness to His elect. Let us now see how this ties in with:

#1.       The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (1Cor 15:20-22, Eph 2:8, Rom 4:23-25)

Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 15:20 (2X). The resurrection of Jesus Christ is an absolute necessity to complete His atonement. When Christ died on the cross He finished all the suffering He had to suffer on account of our sins. Then He rested in the grave; no more suffering. But how are we going to know that? But then He rose from the grave to demonstrate that God approved His suffering as a complete payment for our sins. Without showing us His resurrection we would never know how complete His payment for our sins was, or if He would have been consumed in the process. But when He rose from the grave, God declared that He is the firstfruits of them that slept:

1Co 15:20-22 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

1Co 15:21  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

It means that Christ is the firstfruits of all the OT saints, for all their sins were not fully satisfied until Christ died for them on the cross. Their souls were in heaven on credit. But Christ is not the firstfruits of all them that slept, all them that died. We must recognize that the word “all” never refers to all mankind. Since we must harmonize the words God gave us, we recognize that in verse 22 the word “all” refers only to all the elect. All the elect in Christ shall be made alive. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 4:23 (2X). Let us now see what else God did at Christ’s resurrection. When God promised Abraham, “I have made thee a father of many nations”, Abraham did not waver; he believed God. It does not mean that Abraham believed in God, but that Abraham believed what God said. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. It means then, according to Eph 2:8, that the faith of Christ that Abraham received as a gift was imputed to him for righteousness. Abraham could not boast of his own faith, for when God called him Abraham was an idolater. And when we read, “It was imputed to him for righteousness”, we should understand that imputation is an accounting term. It means: “To charge to someone’s account”. And thus, imputation is a legal declaration. Original sin, which is Adam’s sin, is imputed to our account. God imputes justification to our account. Our sins are imputed to Christ’s account. Christ’s righteousness is imputed to our account. The full payment of our sins by Christ is imputed to our account. All the rewards of faith, even though faith is a gift from God, are imputed to our account. This is how God operates: First He loads us with benefits, like faith, and then He rewards us for having faith. God makes sure that He receives 100% of the credit. Now let us read Rom 4:23-25

Ro 4:23-25 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Literally, Christ was raised on account of our justification. The resurrection from the dead of the Son of God in the flesh is God’s sentence that Christ is justified, and that we who are in Christ are therefore justified in Him. Christ went into death not for His own sin, but for and with our sins. He knew no sin. Never could He have been raised from the dead if He had not fully atoned for our sins and satisfied the righteousness of God. But by raising Him from the dead God gave Him testimony that as the head of His people He was righteous, which also means that we are righteous in Him. Therefore the resurrection of Christ is the Word of God concerning our justification. Now we turn to the content of justification.

  • The Content of Justification (Eph 1:7, Gal 4:4-7, 3:11, Phil 2:6-11)

Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Galatians, Gal 4:4 (2X). First, justification implies the complete forgiveness of all our sins. In justification we are perfectly acquitted in the judgment of God from all guilt, sin, and death through Christ, like God says in Eph 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

Secondly, justification implies our adoption as children, including the granting of all the rights of children and the right to the eternal inheritance. We read in Gal 4:4-7,

Ga 4:4-6  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Usually verses 4 and 5 are quoted at Christmas time. I want you to notice that verses 4 and 5 are not at all referring to the birth of Christ. Look at the context. Gal 4:1-3 refer to the elect before our salvation, for then we were still in bondage under the elements of this world. Verses 6-7 refer to us after salvation.

Thirdly, justification implies an eternal righteousness, a righteousness that can never be lost and that gives the elect the right to eternal life. In its eternal character the excellency of this righteousness is evident, in contrast with the righteousness of Adam in the state of rectitude. What is rectitude? Rectitude means “morally straight”, or “moral integrity”. If Adam would not have sinned he would be for the rest of his life morally straight, but his life would have been earthy. By his obedience he could never have attained to that higher state; he would not have the righteousness of Christ. For eternal life can only be attained as a gift through the death of the Son of God. Not only was it impossible for Adam to have reached that higher glory in the heavenly tabernacle, but it was equally impossible for him to have merited it. And is that not absolutely in agreement with what we read in Gal 3:11? Look there at your left, “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” In other words, no man can be justified by perfect obedience to the law, not even Adam.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Philippians, Phil 2:6 (2X). In contrast to Adam, Christ is worthy of the resurrection, of life eternal. He is the Son of God in human nature who humbled Himself deeply into death and Hell in perfect obedience of love. Therefore, according to the justice of God, in the same measure that Christ humbled Himself, He was highly exalted and obtained the state of immortality in eternal glory. And is that not exactly what we read in Phil 2:6-11?

Php 2:6-11  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Christ’s righteousness is an everlasting righteousness. Therefore in Him we are worthy of eternal life.

#2.       Six Steps of Justification (Num 23:21, Rom 9:11-13, 8:29-30, Joh 17:2, 19:30, Isa 53:11, Eph 2:4-6, Rom 4:25, 3:24, 5:1, 8:23, Gal 3:22, 2:20)

First of all, we certainly may speak of our justification from eternity past. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 9:11 (2X). We are justified, declared righteous, in the decree of election from before the foundation of the world. In His eternal counsel God has ordained Christ as mediator and head of all the elect. Therefore it must be true that God knew the elect in Christ as justified from all eternity. The elect do not become righteous before God in time by faith, but we are righteous in the tribunal of God from before the foundation of the world. God beholds us in eternity not as sinners, but as perfectly righteous, as redeemed, as justified in Christ. God says in Num 23:21,

Nu 23:21  He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.

Jacob? God has not seen iniquity in Jacob, the deceiver? Now we have a better grip on God’s statement in Rom 9:11-13, where God has the entire church through all ages in view, and God says in

Ro 9:11-13  (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Now we understand what God meant: Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated from before the foundation of the world. Jacob symbolizes here all the elect who shall ever come into existence, and Esau symbolizes all those who are non-elect and who crowd the church together with all the Jacobs. Why the church, and why not the world? It is because Jacob and Esau grew up in the same church where their father Isaac and their mother Rebekah were attending, for they worshipped the same Jehovah God. Please turn one page back to Rom 8:29-30, and there we read:

Ro 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Whom He did foreknow from eternity past, dirty rotten sinners, but declared justified by Christ, He predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His Son, for in this life we are drawn into the family of Christ, in order that Christ might be the firstborn among many brethren. Christ from eternity past in the Counsel of Peace undertook to be the surety of His people by taking our guilt upon Himself. Also afterward He by His suffering and death on Golgotha actually paid the ransom for the guilt of our sins, reconciling us to God while we were yet enemies.

Secondly, Our eternal justification is made real in time, and is grounded historically in the death of Christ. Christ died for all the elect, and for no one else. If there would have been someone else whom God wanted to draw in, then God would have known it before the foundation of the world, and God would have placed that person also on the list of all the elect. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 53:11 (2X). While you look that up listen to what we read in John 17:2,

Joh 17:2  As thou (the Father) hast given him (Christ) power over all flesh, that he (Christ) should give eternal life to as many as thou (the Father) hast given him.

God says in John 17:2 that Christ atoned once and forever for all the sins of those whom the Father had given Him from before the foundation of the world. Not one more, and not one less. This was truly a limited atonement; it was limited to the number of the elect. We also read in John 19:30,

Joh 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

When Jesus said with a loud voice, “It is finished”, His sufferings for the guilt of our sins were truly finished. Therefore, in the hour of judgment on the cross all the elect are justified objectively forever. Our sins can never be imputed to us any more, and we have a right to eternal life. On the cross the guilt of the sins of all the elect was paid in full, for we were in Christ when He paid for them, and we all are declared righteous before God. God says in Isa 53:11

Isa 53:11  He (the Father) shall see of the travail (suffering) of his (Christ’s) soul, and (the Father) shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

God is testifying that through the work of Christ at the cross, the Lord Jesus actually justified His people right then and there. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 2:4 (2X).

Thirdly, in the resurrection of Christ the elect have God’s own assurance of justification. For even in His glorious resurrection the elect are all in Him and with Him, for we have been raised with Him, and therefore we are justified. This is what we see when we read Eph 2:4-6,

Eph 2:4-6 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

You see, even when we were dead in sins, we were made alive together with Christ; not that we earned it or deserved it, for by grace are we saved; it was totally a free gift from God. And God has raised us up together with Christ, and made us sit together with Christ in the heavenlies because we were and still are in Christ Jesus. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 4:25 (2X)

Fourthly, our justification is declared in the Gospel, because the Gospel is the declaration of the righteousness of God for all the elect. Therefore in the Gospel we have our legal citizenship in the eternal kingdom of God. What is the Gospel? The Gospel is that Christ suffered and died on behalf of the sins of all the elect which were imputed to His account, and that all our sins were paid in full because Christ rose again the third day, and that we are irresistibly drawn to faith in the completeness of the work of Christ on our behalf, and we have been chosen to be the Bride of Christ in heaven, and therefore, since we are the Bride of Christ, He has imputed His righteousness to us.

We have already seen what God said at the time of the resurrection of Christ in Rom 4:25. This is an unmistakable statement concerning the timing of our justification. When we search the commentaries we almost never find the answer to the question: “When”. When were we justified? God says in Rom 4:25,

Ro 4:25  Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

If we now look to the left of this page to Rom 3:24 (2X) we will see the same truth in different words,

Ro 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Both these verses state clearly that we were justified objectively at the resurrection of Christ in AD 33 and that we are drawn by God’s grace to believe that we were redeemed (purchased) by Christ.

Fifthly, We were again justified in our lifetime at the time of our regeneration, but this time it is accompanied by the washing away of our sins by God the Holy Spirit. Please turn only one page forward in this Epistle to the Romans to Rom 5:1 (2X). We receive this righteousness by faith only, not as if faith were another ground for our justification, but simply as the means whereby we are ingrafted into Christ and become partakers of all His benefits. We do not turn to God with an imperfect faith, or a superficial faith, but we turn to God with a perfect faith which we receive from God. We read in Rom 5:1,

Ro 5:1 ¶  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

What is that faith that has the power to justify us? God says in Gal 3:22 that it is the faith of Christ.

Ga 3:22  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

That the promise by the faith of Jesus Christ will be given to them that believe. God repeated this statement in Gal 2:20 (2X), where we read

Ga 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Here again we read that it is the faith of Christ that is given to us. What better evidence do we need? Certainly it is not a faith that we conjure up, for that is a worthless faith.

Sixthly, Please turn a few pages forward in this Epistle to the Romans, to Rom 8:23 (2X). We shall be justified publicly before all the world in the revelation of the righteous judgment of God, when our righteousness in Christ shall be revealed and recognized, and when our public adoption unto children of God and heirs of the Kingdom will take place. We read in Rom 8:23,

Ro 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Not only the creation is groaning under the weight of sin that is in the world, but we who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we too are eagerly waiting for the redemption of our body. At present our salvation is not yet complete. Only our soul has been saved, but our bodies are still subject to the pull of sin. When God completes our salvation by giving us a glorified body, He will appear not only as a righteous and just judge in rendering a perfect verdict to the unsaved, but He will also show Himself as a gracious God and Father in bringing His elect children into a NH&NE that far exceeds everything that He has promised.                  But now we also need to look at:

#3,       Justification and Faith (Rom 3:24,28, Acts 16:31)

Please turn to chapter 3 in this Epistle to the Romans, Rom 3:24 (2X). Most of the Scriptures emphasize that justification is by faith alone. What is the relation between justification and faith? The main principle we should bear in mind when we consider the role of faith is that salvation, and likewise justification and righteousness, is by grace alone. Whatever role faith plays in this puzzle, it should be subordinate to the principle that grace alone rules uncontested, for all the glory, all the credit, must go to God. Why does God require faith to be present anyway? Faith is the bond that unites us with Christ, so that through faith we have communication with God. Let us compare two statements here in Rom 3.

Ro 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

We can fully agree with this, without any reservation. We are justified freely, and that action of God is

based only on the grace that is made available through the redemption by Christ, the purchase, that occurred on the cross of Calvary. Now let us look at Rom 3:28.

Ro 3:28  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

In other words, “we conclude that a man is not justified by works”. But what law is this? When we read in Acts 16:31, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house”, is this a law of God. Certainly it is a command, and thus it is one of the laws we must obey. But when we read this, and we decide to obey it because we do not want to go to Hell, is this believing not a work that we do? And the answer is absolutely yes, for Rom 3:28 tells us what we have done. We have conjured up a faith in Christ which was not a gift from God, and thus this was a faith that was the result of work. How then can we find out if our faith was a gift from God or if it was the result of a work done by us? It is easy to see in case of severe persecutions. The person who has faith as the gift from God will not fear to be cast to the lions. The person who has a conjured up faith will probably renounce his faith to save his skin. This tells us a great deal about faith in this day and age. The person who has received a faith from God will not rest until he has searched the Bible on all matters of faith, and then he will have an ongoing desire to search the Bible on all kinds of issues by which he can examine himself to see if he has been truly saved. His commitment to learn more of the Word of God and to be sure of his salvation are as fervent as the commitment of the man who was going to be cast to the lions. And now, the picture gets a little clearer. Here are two persons, person A and person B. Person A says that he loves the Lord, and all his works, and his desires, and his goals are all showing that he loves the Lord truly, for his one goal in this life is to do those things that are pleasing in the sight of the Lord. And what has he done with the Bible? He cherishes it and takes it with him wherever he goes. It is his lifetime companion. Person B also says that he loves the Lord, but his entire life consists of skimming the edges. He will keep the Sunday holy, but only to the minimum. Yes he will serve, but only if you ask him. He will not come up with initiatives of his own. And what has he done with the Bible? I do not know, for often he cannot even find his Bible. Notice that I have not mentioned the law and sinning against the law. In NT times God does not treat us any more like little children. Instead God treats us as adults. We know when we have sinned; we do not need a list to remind us if we have sinned. But what have you done for Me lately? That is what God will ask anyone who is uncertain of his or her salvation. And so, indeed we are justified by faith, but let everyone examine if they have left their first love. Let every man examine where their love truly is. And let everyone determine for himself if his actions are pleasing to the Lord. We are not justified because of the worthiness of our faith, but only because faith lays hold upon the satisfaction, the righteousness and holiness of Christ. He is our righteousness before God and we are justified freely by His grace. But once we said this, we also remember what Christ had to do to give us this righteousness.. He gave His all, so that we would willingly enroll to be His servants. If He then gave everything that He had, what are we willing to give to Him? Not as payment, but in gratitude.

  • The Faith of James (Jam 2:14-17)

I do not want to talk about James’s faith, but about the faith that is so controversial in the Epistle of James. Please turn to the Epistle of James, Jam 2:14 (2X). James makes a sharp distinction between a living faith and a dead faith. This distinction becomes evident when we study Jam 2:14-17. When James asks the question, “Can faith save him?” he does not have in mind the true and living faith, but a faith that a man says he has, that he professes to have, but which is a mere intellectual assent, a dead faith without works. The question is: What is the proper wok of faith? According to Scripture the answer must be: Faith is the work of God by which the sinner clings to Christ as the revelation of the God of his salvation. Such faith is indeed a saving faith. Faith that a man claims to have, but which is nothing more than an intellectual assent is vain and hypocritical. When we read verse 18 it says in different words, “You object that you will gladly let me have my works, if you only can keep the faith. But I answer that you will have to show me by your works that you possess the true and living faith at all. Otherwise it is no faith.” From this it is plain that James is not writing about saving faith at all, but a mere intellectual assent to the truth which has no saving power. When James writes about the sacrifice of Isaac he gave an illustration of the faith made perfect by works. Abraham revealed that after he had first hoped against hope. He still clung to God who could raise the dead and completely fulfill His promise. Rahab too by the God given power of faith, clung to the promise, chose the party of the living God against the whole world and was saved, not because she made the right choice, but because God gave her that faith.

  • Sin Is Not Dead (Rom 6:2-18)

Please turn now to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 6:2 (2X). In this chapter God teaches us that the Christian is dead to sin. But notice that this is not the same as saying that sin is dead in him. The fact is that when we are ingrafted into Christ, when the power of the cross is very real in us, and when we are justified by faith, sin is not dead, but remains very much alive. In this life we never have more than a small beginning of the obedience we have in the life hereafter. Our old nature, earthly and carnal, remains with us till the grave; in that old nature are the motions of sin, and they are very active. Until the day of our death we must heed the exhortation of the Word of God to put off the old man and to put on the new. Sin is not dead, but the Christian is dead to sin. The difference is very plain. The natural man is alive unto sin. Sin is his lord, and he is the legal slave of it. God’s sentence is that the sinner shall die, for sin has dominion over him, and he is alive unto sin. But he loves to have it so.

In contrast, when we are no longer under the legal dominion of sin, we are dead to sin. Sin is no longer our lord. This sentence of liberation is realized in the saint through Christ. The child of God is actually, spiritually liberated from the bondage of sin. Grace instead of sin. The law of the spirit of life rather than the law of sin and death is enthroned in his heart and has dominion over him. His heart is renewed. God looks upon this heart and God says, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin”.                AMEN.           Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.