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Justified By His Blood

Justified by His blood!

There is an old story regarding the elderly Jewish man, complete with his skull cap, who upon walking into the foyer of the Pentecostal church began to read the do's and don'ts that were listed therein. He read that we cannot watch television, drink wine, smoke, stay out late, etc. etc. etc. The usher, noticing the Jewish gentleman walked over and shook his hand and said, "Isn't it good to be out from under the law?" The elderly Jew looked at him and said, "We have no law compared to yours. For if anyone was ever bound up in legality and self-righteousness young man, it is you, not I."

I distinctly remember, shortly after being saved in a Charismatic Catholic prayer meeting, standing on a sidewalk one Sunday after church. It was a beautiful fall day; the sun was shining, leaves blowing. I had only been saved about a week. I stopped outside and leaned against a tree and lit up a cigarette. I knew little of the Christian faith at that time, but I knew enough to know that Jesus Christ had died for my sins and set me free. I knew He loved me and that I was going to be with Him forever. Even today I can remember back to that Sunday. Never had I felt so good, so free, so clean with absolute peace, joy, and fulfillment. A man came up to me and said, "I thought you were a Christian. Don't you know that Christians cannot smoke?" So I put out the cigarette.

Shortly thereafter, I joined a Pentecostal church. They told me Christians cannot drink, so I drank no more wine - even though Jesus did. Then they said Christians cannot dance - so I ceased to take my wife out dancing. Then they said Christians cannot put on a bathing suit and go to the beach - so I ceased to go to the beach. Then they said, of course, Christians cannot watch television - so I ceased to watch television. I believe the straw that broke the camel's back was when they told me that peanut butter, white bread and Proctor and Gamble products were evil and of Satan and God would not be happy with me if I partook of any of them. I realized at that point I was doing more to appease man than Jesus had originally done to save me. No longer was I filled with joy and happiness, no longer was I living life and that more abundant because of the blessing of Jesus Christ, but rather life had become a tedious chore.

I would have been bound up by the doctrines and traditions of men forever had I not been set free by the Living Word of God. Surely it says, "You shall know the truth and the Truth shall set you free." (John 8:32.) Let us briefly look at what that truth is. Bear in mind that Jesus is the Truth and that truth, the Word, says this in Titus 3:4-6, "But after that, the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, NOT by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior."

Observe the source of a changed life - the kindness and the love of God. The means of our change is the regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, and the grounds of our change is the finished work of Christ. Nowhere do our good works enter in. The Word further says that, "being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." Observe that the condition of grace is one of FREEDOM. We have been justified by His grace.

In Galatians 3:13-14, the Word of the Lord says "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." We have here the declaration of the most important fact in all the world. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. What law? The ten commandments? Yes, and every other commandment written in the scriptures; not only the Ten Commandments but all that are inscribed on the fleshly tablets of our hearts as well. Christ had redeemed us from the curse. What is the curse? The scriptures say in Romans 6:23, "The wages of sin is death," and in Ezekiel 18:20, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."

What then is the condition for this eternal salvation that no man, no demon, no angel can ever take from you? There is one condition and it is simple and true - you must be born again. Remember the Word says that Christ HAS redeemed us. The word used is in the past tense. That is important, for it is not something Christ will do in the future, not even anything that He is doing now, but something He has already done forever, completely. For in Christ we live under the law of the Spirit, which is faith expressing itself through love in Christ Jesus. The law of the Spirit gives life and that more abundant. We are justified by grace and respond with faith acting in love, not by good deeds.

Allow me to leave you with this.  "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13.) "To as many as received Him, to them gave He power (or authority) to become the sons of God, even unto them that believe on His name." (John 1:12.)

Then these can be the only questions remaining. Have you yet received Him? Have you yet believed on His name? Have you yet taken from Him by a definite act of faith that redemption which He purchased and which He offers you freely? To do this, but nothing less or other than this, is to be saved.

By this I am not advocating sin of any kind but rather that God would tell you what it is and what to give up, for it is obedience that God requires. Study the Word. Be not hearers only but doers, and God will set you free from the prisons with stained glass windows. Spend time with the Lord and hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God and He shall lead you all the days of your life. By all means, fellowship with the believers. Obey the authority God has appointed. Pray and see what fellowship God would have you attend. It may not be the one your parents attend, or your friends, or the person closest to you, but God, Himself, will direct your steps.

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