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Justified,

Sanctified &

Perfected

in the Spirit

 

 

By Bart Nelson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2005 – All rights reserved

 

 

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I remember teaching this topic in Spain. In fact, I remember tackling it over and over from different perspectives. You see, folks there grew up in a very rigid religious culture that demanded strict obedience in order to be accepted. In fact, the clergy had been used by the old Fascist government to spy on the people. What a mess! The end result was that believers in Jesus often still lived in that condemning, stifling scenario, even when they didn’t have to. You know what? Often I am not that much different than they were, just perhaps less noticeably! You might just find yourself there as well.

 

Praise God, Jesus did it all, lived a remarkable, perfect, love-filled life. When we follow Him, we are in Him, and all the bad stuff we do is gone, all the good stuff we neglect to do is accounted to us and we can live in this freedom. Well, I’m getting ahead of the study, so let’s jump right in…

 

Gen. 15.5-6 And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. Abraham, the father of faith, believed God for a son, and God counted it as righteousness. It is not only believing for salvation that brings us rightness in God’s eyes, but all sorts of faith for all sorts of things are counted. (righteousness – Strong’s #6666 - From H6663; rightness (abstractly), subjectively (rectitude), objectively (justice), morally (virtue) or figuratively (prosperity): - justice, moderately, right (-eous) (act, -ly, -ness). ) Abraham is one of my heroes. He had no Bible, no tabernacle, temple, nor church, no law, he understood sacrifices somehow, but it wasn’t written down any where that we know of. He had no one to look to that followed God. In short, it was he and God hanging out when God decided to show up and he obeyed God. What amazing faith he had! We have everything he didn’t and struggle to believe so much…

 

Lev. 20.8 Keep all my laws and obey them, for I am the Lord, who makes you holy. Even in the midst of the law, God revealed Himself as Jehovah M’kaddesh, the Lord who sanctifies. He never intended us to do this walk on our own. See also: Lev. 21.8, Ex. 31.13, Eze. 20.12, Eze. 37.28 (KJV sanctify – Strong’s #6942 - A primitive root; to be (causatively make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally): - appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, hallow, (be, keep) holy (-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify (-ied one, self), wholly.)

 

Psa 18.31-32 For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God, the God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? (KJV perfect – Strong’s # 8549 - entire (literally, figuratively or morally); also (as noun) integrity, truth: - without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely (-ity), sound, without spot, undefiled, upright (-ly), whole.)

 

Ps. 57.2 I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me. The Heb. word for performs also means perfects, completes. See also: Is. 26.12

 

Ps. 71.15-16 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your salvation all day long; For I do not know the sum of them. I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone. Our rightness does not count with God at all, it is only His that is worth mentioning.

 

Ps. 138.8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands.

 

Is. 45.24-25 "They will say of Me, 'only in the LORD are righteousness and strength.' Men will come to Him, and all who were angry at Him will be put to shame. "In the LORD all the offspring of Israel will be justified and will glory." (Justified – Strong’s #6663 - A primitive root; to be (causatively make) right (in a moral or forensic sense): - cleanse, clear self, (be, do) just (-ice, -ify, -ify self), (be, turn to) righteous (-ness).)

 

Is. 51.4-8 "Pay attention to Me, O My people, and give ear to Me, O My nation; for a law will go forth from Me, and I will set My justice for a light of the peoples. My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, and My arms will judge the peoples; the coastlands will wait for Me, and for My arm they will wait expectantly. "Lift up your eyes to the sky, then look to the earth beneath; for the sky will vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not wane. "Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, a people in whose heart is My law; do not fear the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings. "For the moth will eat them like a garment, AND the grub will eat them like wool. But My righteousness will be forever, and My salvation to all generations." No matter what happens, no matter who says what, God’s righteousness will always be around, it’s not going to slack up. We can depend and rely on it!

 

Is. 53.10-11 But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. God is satisfied with the sacrifice of Jesus. That is why we are justified in His sight.

 

Is. 54.17 "No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication is from Me," declares the LORD. We’re not to receive accusations and condemnation from others. We should ask the Lord if there is any degree of truth in it and repent if there is, but like we’ll read farther down, if God doesn’t condemn us, why should any one else. This is our heritage!

 

Is 61.10-11 I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise To spring up before all the nations. Think of what happens when you put on a robe – what is underneath is covered up. That’s what happens when God puts His salvation and righteousness over us, we are covered with JESUS! It doesn’t get better than that, does it? Remember Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast, how He sent out to the highways and byways for all to come in. One came it without a wedding garment – without the righteousness of Jesus – and was cast into outer darkness. We desperately need this covering, without it, unspeakable things will happen. We dare not try to come in with our own clothes on!

 

Jer. 23.6 In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. See also: Jer. 33.16 God is so serious about being our righteousness that He calls Himself that so we won’t forget! Strong‘s # 6664 - the right (natural, moral or legal); also (abstractly) equity or (figuratively) prosperity: -  X even, (X that which is altogether) just (-ice), ([un-]) right (-eous) (cause, -ly, -ness)

 

Jer 31.33-34 "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." God wanted this new covenant to work, so He put His laws in our heart – the law of faith and love – so that we wouldn’t forget and so that we’d focus on that and not our sin.

 

Dan. 9.24 "Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. This is a prophecy about Jesus. I’m not going to go into what the weeks are about, but focus on His works…

 

I am so glad the Old Covenant has so much to say about ‘New Covenant’ topics like these. Often, when you really examine it, there is not that much difference between the New and Old covenants, except that the Old looks forward prophetically with types and shadows at times, while the New looks back and reveals what God was really doing and teaching.

 

Mat 12:37 "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." We need to watch our words, for they reveal what is within us (that’s what the context implies). We also need to insure our words agree with His Word, that we may be justified.

 

Lk. 18.9-14 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted." Humility agrees with God, pride thinks itself right, regardless of what God says. Our self-righteousness gets us no where fast. It is only the righteousness of Jesus Christ that is worth anything.

 

Jn. 5.24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. We have exchanged places – that’s what the Greek literally means. We exchanged our place of death for a place of life – praise God!

 

Jn. 17.14-19 "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” The truth of the word is an agent of our sanctification, but it doesn’t happen without Jesus. He had to be fully sanctified to the end in order for us to be sanctified. (Sanctified – Strong’s # 37 - to make holy, that is, (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate: - hallow, be holy, sanctify.)

 

Acts 13.38-39 "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. The word translated freed is the same word in the Greek that is translated justified – see definition below.

 

Acts 26.17-18 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.'

 

Rom. 1.16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” In the Gospel, the good news, true righteousness is revealed. Why only there? We have NONE on our own, so we need Jesus’ to be able to have any. We obtain it by faith. So that is how we, the just, live justly, by faith.

 

Rom. 3.19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Propitiation literally means mercy seat. Its definition includes satisfaction. Like I said after Isaiah 53, and these verses show it, God’s satisfaction means our justification. Justified – Strong’s #1344 - to render righteous or such he ought to be, to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered, to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be. Righteousness – Strong’s #1343 - in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God, the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God, integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting, in a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives each his due. This passage states the purpose of the law, to shut us all up into guilt and the absolute need of Jesus.

 

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, But by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. How do we stand before our Holy, Just and Right God? He is too holy to even look on evil, so how can He bear to look at us? It is only as we come to Him in faith and appropriate the blood of Jesus that God passes over our sins and is satisfied by Jesus’ good works, put on our account. Keeping the law makes no one right before God. All the law does is give us sin consciousness and awareness. Keeping the law does nothing towards making us even a little bit better. That leaves no room for boasting, since I am not at all closer to God because of my good works. None of us deserve our right standing before God because we are all sinners!

 

Rom. 4.2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” God clearly wants all our boasting to be in Him. We can do nothing to earn or to keep our justification.

 

9 Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised. Here we see the place of works (such as circumcision). They are a sign, a seal of the work already accomplished by Jesus on the cross. If Jesus rules and reigns in our life, surely there will be fruit, but we do not earn anything by this fruit, it is just a by-product, a sign that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are living and working within us.

 

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

 

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” What amazing faith Abraham had, pushing that baby carriage for 25 years, knowing, not denying, that he and Sarah had no chance of having kids on their own, apart from God!

 

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. This last verse of chapter 4 tells us what justification is. Jesus died to bring forgiveness, but He was raised to put good things in our account – that is His goodness, rightness, His perfection were all put in our account in heaven.

 

Rom. 5.1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. We can be in the presence of God without fear because the blood of Jesus bought our rightness before Him. Therefore, we have peace with God – a ‘side benefit’ of justification.

 

9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

 

16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. By the gift of righteousness we reign or have authority in this world. Without His righteousness we wouldn’t be nor would we feel worthy to take our place of authority in this world. So the righteousness of Jesus both provides the authority as well as provides the sense that we are worthy to take and use it, according to the character of Jesus.

 

Rom. 6.5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. We offer our members as instruments of righteousness because we are righteous in Jesus! As we go through this process of meditating on and appropriating the work of Christ on our behalf, there will be fruit in our life of right living and right deeds done to others. Christ’s work is so effective, it can’t help but change how we relate to others.

 

Rom. 8.1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

 

10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

 

12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh--13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. These verses talk more about walking out our justification.

 

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. I am sure glad these verbs are in the past tense, already completed on my behalf. Glorified – Strong’s # 1392 From G1391; to render (or esteem) glorious (in a wide application): - (make) glorify (-ious), full of (have) glory, honor, magnify.

 

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. If God will not condemn us, we dare not let others do it (at least not take if it is given). Even more importantly, we dare not condemn ourselves if God isn’t in the condemning business!

 

Rom. 9.30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.

 

Rom. 10.1 Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: "DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, 'WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?' (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or 'WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)." 8 But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. How often do we try to establish our own rightness rather than relying on God’s? When we sin, how often do we try to make up for it, again, rather than relying on God’s finished work in our lives? Paul says that it is with the heart, our innermost being, that we believe. It’s not our head assenting to some creed that makes us right with God, but believing in our hearts.

 

1 Cor. 1.2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. Over and over again in the New Testament, Christians are called saints. This literally means holy ones (Strong’s #40 - sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated): - (most) holy (one, thing), saint.) and is not reserved for those who are in heaven, having lead an upright life on earth and declared so by some church. This is all of us. Everyone in the church was called saint!

 

1 Cor. 1.30-31 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD." Jesus IS, not just has, our righteousness and sanctification. We are not even in Jesus by our own doing, but by His. We must cooperate, but it is Him!

 

1 Cor. 6.9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. Again, praise God this is past tense!

 

2 Cor. 5.17-21 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Because we are justified, we are then reconciled.

 

Gal. 2.16-17 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. "But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be!

 

Gal. 3.2-29 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? (This is obviously a rhetorical question by Paul. No one can merit the gift of Holy Spirit, yet many have so taught!) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Here’s another rhetorical question, with another obvious answer!) Did you suffer so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain?

 

So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU." So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.

 

For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM." Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM."

 

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE"--in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. (Although many have tried to add to it!) Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ. What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. This is so powerful! We often think ourselves worthy of curses because we don’t live according to the law. Jesus took care of all that on the cross for us, taking the curse and passing on the blessings. It’s just part of justification (see previous paragraph).

 

Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one.

 

Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

 

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise. I didn’t realize until now how much Galatians had to say about justification! What words of wisdom Paul gives us here!

 

Gal. 5.1-6 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. Galatians focuses on, as does much of Romans, on trying to keep the law versus faith. I am convinced I can’t keep any of it, so I cling to Jesus’ blood and the cross as my only hope. There is nothing good in me for others or even myself, it is all God.

 

Eph. 4.22-24 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Our new man, our spirit, is created perfectly. Our daily job, then, is to focus on him, or as Paul said, put off the old and put on the new. That’s our battle.

 

Eph. 5.9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), and Phil. 1.11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Both these verses talk about our righteousness having fruit. That is a natural by-product of the seeds of faith and the word producing after their kind, bringing forth 30, 60 and 100 fold in our lives.

 

Eph 6.14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. Condemnation strikes the heart, but the righteousness purchased by the blood is our breastplate against what our enemy, the world or we ourselves would bring against us.

 

Phil. 1.6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. KJV perform - Strong’s # 2005 - From G1909 and G5055; to fulfill further (or completely), that is, execute; by implication to terminate, undergo: - accomplish, do, finish, (make) (perfect), perform (X -ance).

 

Phil. 3.8-11 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Paul laid it all down to know Jesus and be found in His righteousness. Having that righteousness, he was able to further experience the fellowship of Jesus in every way, power of resurrection, suffering and death, even attaining to resurrection from the dead.

 

Col. 1.12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. I discovered while reading this verse in Spanish that qualified also carries with it the meaning of made worthy. So, not only has Father made us able to share but He has also made us worthy to share, all by Jesus’ work on the cross! 21-23 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach--if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. Faith is not a once-in-lifetime deal. We must continue in it so that we can be continually holy, blameless and beyond reproach.

 

Col. 2.9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; The word complete here is best described with a picture of a ship crammed with everything, everyone necessary for the voyage. That includes all provision, weaponry, material to make repairs, maps and compasses for direction, everything. When He told us to go, He gave us everything necessary for the journey. So also in the spiritual realm, we have everything we need to make it to our destination, heaven.

 

1 Thes. 5.23-24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. KJV – do it – Strong’s # 4160 Apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do (in a very wide application, more or less direct): - abide, + agree, appoint, X avenge, + band together, be, bear, + bewray, bring (forth), cast out, cause, commit, + content, continue, deal, + without any delay, (would) do (-ing), execute, exercise, fulfil, gain, give, have, hold, X journeying, keep, + lay wait, + lighten the ship, make, X mean, + none of these things move me, observe, ordain, perform, provide, + have purged, purpose, put, + raising up, X secure, shew, X shoot out, spend, take, tarry, + transgress the law, work, yield. Compare G4238.

 

2 Thes. 2.13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Tit. 3.3-7 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Our past, even recent, doesn’t matter, what matters is Christ’s work!

 

Heb 2.11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren. What a wonderful thing to have a Father and Older brother who are not ashamed of us!

 

Heb. 9.9-14 which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation. But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Under the Old Covenant, offering sacrifice after sacrifice (read Leviticus some time!) what happened with Israel was a sin consciousness. They focus on their sin all the time because they were constantly reminded of it. What you focus on, you become or do. Like when driving and looking off to the side, you tend to veer off the road. Now, because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we can focus on Him and His righteousness and become Jesus and righteousness conscious. God’s so smart!

 

Heb. 10.10-14 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. Once His work was done, He sat down, not needing to do anything else. What Jesus did for us by dying, being buried and resurrected, is done once, forever, period!

 

Heb. 12.2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Isn’t wonderful, Jesus authored and will perfect our faith?! All I need to do is cooperate with Him and He will get it done!

 

Heb. 13.11-13 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. As we are willing to go to Him, outside all that is respectable and comfortable, we partake of His finished work and be presentable to God. As long as we refuse to do that, we will have our comfort and respectability, but not Him and all He is for us.

 

Jam 2.18-26 But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works." You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. The issue is not faith OR works. The issue is that if we truly have faith, it WILL produce good works. Jesus told us faith is as a seed. A seed planted WILL produce fruit, period, especially the incorruptible seed!

 

1 Pet. 2.24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

 

1 Pet. 5.10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. These works of justification, sanctification and perfection, like many in the Word, take place spirit, soul and body. When we were saved, we were justified, righteous, sanctified and perfected in our spirits. It was a done deal. Our souls, on the other hand are in the process of this work, depending on how much we cooperate with Holy Spirit. Our bodies will arrive at this state in heaven. If you’re careful in your reading, you’ll note this is true even of our salvation. We were saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved. I’m not going to give the verses. If you want to, look it up!

 

1 Jn. 1.7-10 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. Thank God that as we are convicted of one sin and confess it, we are cleansed from all sins. We are usually convicted of things that we do wrong, not about things we don’t do (e.g. loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, strength, praying without ceasing, going into all the world, etc.). So praise God, He forgives us of all, no? Another note, the goal is righteousness consciousness not sin consciousness, so keep a short list with God. In other words, as soon as you become conscious of a sin, confess, repent and get rid of it. Once we’re dirty, it is so much easier to get dirtier!

 

Jude 24 Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight] -- 25 To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it). What a perfect verse to end this study!