Each Sunday at 9:00 a.m. we gather around God's Word to be reminded of our sin and of our Savior. Many churches today don't want to talk about sin. People don't want to be told that they are sinful. But we recognize that the more we understand just how sinful we are, the more the love of Christ shines into our hearts. As the Apostle Paul tells us, "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).
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Sharing God's Love
What if our eternal salvation worked like an NFL replay review? What would God find if he went into the replay review of our lives and took a look at the evidence? If our eternal salvation was based on a review of how we lived our lives, our salvation would always be overturned. The evidence that stands against us is indisputable. We are reminded of that in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
But the amazing thing about that passage is that it doesn’t end there, it continues in verse 24, “and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” To understand what that passage is saying, we need to understand what it means to be justified. The word “justify” is really a courtroom term. It is a declaration of “not guilty.”
How is it that we can be declared “not guilty” when a review of our lives proves the exact opposite to be true? It’s all because of Jesus! When Jesus willingly went to the cross and died, he did that for us. And when he died, he died for the sins of the whole world (including yours and mine). Therefore, our sins have been taken away and replaced with the perfect life Jesus lived on our behalf.
Therefore, when God goes into the replay booth of our lives, he no longer sees the evidence that stood against us (i.e. our sins), instead the replay shows the perfect life that Jesus lived for us. That’s what it means to be justified.
If you would like an easy way to remember the meaning of the word “justify,” just break it down into smaller parts: just/if/y. Through Jesus’ death on the cross for us, he made it “just” as “if” “I” never sinned. Therefore, the official review of our lives announces: “the call of your eternal salvation is confirmed in Jesus.”