Sin, Never Justified only Forgiven

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)

Mankind was created by God in His own image. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26) We were created in His image but that image has been tainted by man’s fall to sin in the Garden of Eden. God has provided a way for man to be reconciled unto God through His Son Jesus Christ. “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18)

God is holy, He is a part from His creation. We are His creation and can only approach in the Righteousness of His Son Jesus. God is a Spirit and we can only worship Him in the Spirit of Truth. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) God lives in perfect righteousness and cannot be in the presence of sin. The Christian strives to live in righteousness but often times fail. In the end game we will only be able to abide in God’s Kingdom if we are perfectly righteous. This is why today we are to live, to, “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) Then when we are in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we will be as He is, righteous. “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” (1 John 3:2)

Today, as followers of Jesus, we are justified by our faith in Him. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) It is we who have been justified by our faith, not our sins. Our sins have been forgiven by the One who has paid the wage of our sins, Jesus Christ. His sacrifice in our place for sin is the greatest act of love known to mankind. This is why we love Him, this is why we keep His commandments. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)

Through the work of sanctification, the work of the Holy Spirit, we grow back into the image we were created in, that of God our Creator. “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.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13) As Christians we cannot continue to live in sin, we cannot continue to promote and defend sin at the same time for no man can serve two masters.

There are many today that profess to have faith in Jesus and have a spiritual walk in His path. Yet they rationalized away their sinful behavior in a multitude of excuses. Some say that grace abounds all the more where sin abounds and use that as a license to sin. (Romans 5:20) Some say that God is amused by our sin and is laughing. We cannot take one word of God out of context and use it as an excuse to live against His will. “I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD.” (Proverbs 1:26-29)

Some believe that they can be reproved and forgiven after they die. The truth is there is only one thing after death and that is the judgment. Without the atoning blood of Jesus our advocate there is only one verdict, guilty. “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” (Hebrews 9:27-28)

Generations have risen that have not been taught the truth. The result of which we are governed by the ever shifting ground of popular opinion. The world is racing further away from the truth because they have never known the truth. We have taken the truth out of our schools, government and market places. Few homes teach the truth to the children and the Churches have discarded much of the truth to not offend those who are starving for it. Vast majorities of people in the world today cannot discern what truth is and what is lie. There is but one truth, it was before the beginning and will stand beyond the end, the truth that comes from the Creator, God. If we love God, then we must listen to His Word to learn discretion. “Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments.” (Psalm 199:66) Those who do not know the Word of God are easy prey for the father of lies. “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

Often man tries to think as God. He tries to decide what God would say is right, what God would do, and how God would do it. These men are trying to think far below the capabilities of God, as man is but the creation of God. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) There is only one way to know what God would have you to do, one way to know the will of God for your life. His Word, prayer, and being led by His Spirit. “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)

Are we truly living the Christian life through His Son Jesus or do we have a misconception of who God is? Are we pouring over His Word to know the truth to guide us through the situations we fall into in this world? Are we tolerant of those secret sins in our life by rationalizing then away with foolish excuses? Or, are we just unsure? If so then we need to test ourselves to see if we are truly in our faith with Jesus the Word of God. (John 1:1) “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

If we find that we are living in error then our Lord is faithful to forgive us. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) The Christian life is a life of repentance. Turing away from living for this world and living for the Kingdom of God to come. “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19) Living for the lust of this world is a broad road and it leads to a dead end. As they say when we leave this world we face our maker, and that is the truth. How will you give an account of an unjustified sinful life? By excuse or the atoning blood of Jesus Christ? “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, November 30, 2016

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