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05 May, 2010 / theexpositor

Justified and still

I have often said that if we do not affirm two foundational Biblical truths, who God is and who we are, then everything else we believe is off balance. How can one be solidly assured they are truly born again if they are not sure of the fact that they are dead in their sins and that only God and God alone can save them? Sadly however, you may, or may not, be amazed and shocked to realize that many who claim the Name do not believe that we are dead in out sins and trespasses, but only sick and “on life support”; and that there remains a spark of life with every heart that will one day, maybe, shock itself to life and tell God to come down and save them. This attitude, belief, also tends to believe that God is too nice to condemn anyone and send them to Hell; that a loving God, exemplified by the paintings of Jesus as a nice white guy toting a lamb and patting heads, would never be so mean as to judge anyone and that He will cut everybody some slack.

That’s silly some of you may be saying, but this represents the theology of many mainline denominations in American today. They may not phrase it as I have here, but if pushed to be honest and direct, they would admit this is what they believe.

There is a major problem with this type of belief system…..IT ISNT SCRIPTURAL! Whether you call it Purpose Driven, Seeker-Sensitive, “lovin-on-folks”, “old time religion”, or even get theological and say Pelagian or Arminian, the not-dead-in-our-sins, God-loves-everybody-and- saves-all, isn’t backed up by chapter and verse.

But as I have contemplated many times, how could one find comfort in such a belief or mindset? There is no comfort in my mind to think that I would have so much power, so much “free will”. When I read scriptures like these, why would I want to place in faith in myself and my own abilities?

  • Jeremiah 17:9 – "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"
  • Titus 1:15-16 – to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.
  • Proverbs 28:26 – Whoever trusts in his own [heart] is a fool
  • Ephesians 2:12-13 – remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
  • Ephesians 2:3 – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

But, oh what great comfort, what marvelous joy it is to be assured by the fact that the eternal sovereign Lord of the Universe is in total control. I love how Dr. Kelly Kapic put it in an article titled “simul iustus et peccator” in the May 2010 edition of Tabletalk Magazine. I have asked his permission to post the entire article, but I love this portion:

“In the end, it is only when we humbly, and with unflinching honesty, come to recognize the true nature of sin that we finally look, in awe and wonder, at the cross. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord: (Romans 6:23). Augustine concluded that our view of sin is not just a discussion about human nature, but ultimately it is a discussion about Jesus Christ and His death. The cross was not significant simply in order to get us “saved”, but its reality continues to govern and guide the life of God’s children. This means that not only are we saved by grace, but we remain dependent on grace for our whole lives. On the other hand, we behold the great, loving and all-sufficient work of Christ. And that changes everything. We live in the paradox that the Augustinian monk Martin Luther so rightly understood; Christians are simultaneously justified and still sinners (simul iustus et peccator). In this way, while we continue to struggle with sin, we also find hope and comfort as we lift our eyes to the cross and keep walking.”

I’m redeemed by love divine
Oh glory, glory, Christ is mine, Christ is mine
All to Him, I now resign
I have been redeemed

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