Today Derek describes that justification is “to be made righteous.” At the cross, Jesus made an exchange on our behalf. The sinless, spotless, righteous One became our sin and took our judgment. Then He gave us His own righteous, sinless perfection. It’s now just-as-if-we’d never sinned and it comes by faith in Him.
It’s good to be with you again, sharing with you on our vitally important theme this week: How To Overcome Evil.
We’ve been studying together the weapons through which God has made it possible for us to gain total victory over Satan - and they’re summed up in that one key verse of Revelation, chapter 12, verse 11:
“They overcame him [that is, the Believers overcame Satan, direct person to person conflict; we have to emphasize that continually]. They [the Believers] overcame him [Satan. Now here are the weapons] by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.” (NIV)
The three weapons there are the blood of the lamb, the Word of God, and our personal testimony. When we know how to use those three weapons together, we overcome Satan. And I’ve explained it this way, and I’m going to say it again today. We overcome Satan when we testify personally to what the Word of God says that the blood of Jesus does for us. There are the three weapons; the blood, the Word, and our testimony. I’ll repeat that again. We overcome Satan when we testify personally to what the Word of God says, that the blood of Jesus does for us.
In my previous talks this week, we’ve looked at three main provisions of the blood of Jesus, first, redemption; second, forgiveness; and third, cleansing from sin. We found these primarily in two verses of the New Testament. In Ephesians 1:7 we have this:
“In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (NIV)
There you see the two provisions, redemption, being bought back out of the hand of the devil, and the forgiveness of sins. And then, in 1st John 1:7:
“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.” (NASB)
There the provision is cleansing, and I’ve pointed out it’s an ongoing tense. The blood of Jesus continually cleanses us, continually keeps us clean. We live in a sin polluted, demon oppressed world, but we can walk this world in purity if we are being continually cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
And then I explained how we can testify about these three provisions. I’ll just go through that briefly again.
First of all, through the blood of Jesus all my sins are forgiven. Secondly, through the blood of Jesus, I am redeemed out of the hand of the devil. Third, as I walk in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses me now and continually from all sin.
Today we’re going to look at another provision of the blood of Jesus and that is: justification.
This is stated for us in Romans, chapter 5, verses 8 and 9:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” (NIV)
Notice the key phrase there, “We have been justified by his blood,” by the blood of Jesus. Now, the word “justify,” the verb or the noun justification is a very important one in the New Testament that some people perhaps may not fully understand what’s implied. The word “just” in the New Testament, as a matter of fact, in the Old also, is interchangeable with the word “righteous;” though they have slightly different connotations, they are the same word. So to justify means, actually, to make righteous, to acquit from sin, to hold guiltless, but remember always, the actual, basic, literal meaning is to make righteous. The best definition of justified that I’ve ever heard, which I give people everywhere, is this: Through the blood of Jesus I am justified, just as if I’d never sinned. See that? That’s being made righteous. Just as if I’d never sinned, how can we say that? Because, when we’re justified through the blood of Jesus, we don’t receive our own righteousness; we receive His righteousness, the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ never sinned. Now that’s the righteousness which we receive through faith in the blood of Jesus.
Let me show you that in 2nd Corinthians 5:21:
“God made him [that’s Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (NIV)
Notice the exchange. On the cross Jesus became sin with our sinfulness, received the penalty and the judgment of our sin, and paid the full price of redemption when He shed His blood. Now the exchange is, through faith in what Jesus did on our behalf on the cross, we become, in Him and always notice that phrase, “in Him;” that’s a key phrase; none of these provisions that I’m speaking about of the blood of Jesus operate unless we are through faith, in Christ, in Him we become the righteousness of God. Not our own righteousness, not any kind of human righteousness, but the very righteousness of God Himself. God has never known sin. He’s never been touched with sin. He’s never been defiled with sin, and that’s the righteousness that we receive through faith in the blood of Jesus. So, I am, through the blood of Jesus, justified, made righteous with God’s righteousness, I become just as if I’d never sinned.
Alright, that’s the answer to Satan’s accusation. You remember Satan is accusing us day and night continually before the throne of God? Why is he accusing us? Because he wants to prove us guilty. How can we overcome Satan’s accusation? This is the primary testimony that overcomes Satan’s accusation. Through the blood of Jesus, I am justified, made righteous, just as if I’d never sinned. Alright, there’s no guilt in that. There’s no room for guilt. The kind of righteousness I’ve received through faith in the blood of Jesus does not admit guilt so I can stand before God without shame, without spot, and I can answer Satan with total boldness, “Satan, it’s in vain for you to accuse me because I’m not meeting you in my own righteousness; I’m meeting you in the righteousness which I’ve received by faith in the blood of Jesus, the righteousness of God which is without spot, without sin, without stain.” That’s the testimony. Through the blood of Jesus I am justified, made righteous, just as if I’d never sinned.
Now I want to go back over the previous testimonies that I’ve given you concerning the other provisions of the blood of Jesus; that is forgiveness, redemption, and cleansing, and I’m going to repeat those testimonies, then I’m going to go on with the new one concerning justification.
First of all, through the blood of Jesus, all my sins are forgiven. Second, through the blood of Jesus I am redeemed out of the hand of the devil.
Third, as I walk in the light, the blood of Jesus is cleansing me now and continually from all sin. And then we add the new one. Through the blood of Jesus, I am justified, made righteous, just as if I’d never sinned. Now I’m going to ask you to follow me in all those four confessions or testimonies about the blood of Jesus, but let me say just a word of explanation. It may be that as you say these out loud in faith, you begin to feel some kind of strange reaction - physical or emotional or something in your mind. Something seems to rise up and fight against it. I want you to know that if that happens, the enemy inside your walls has been revealed. That’s the enemy fighting against you, a secret fifth columnist. An agent of Satan somewhere has been laid bare by this testimony and you need to stand against him and go on until he’s defeated and driven outside.
Now let’s give you the four testimonies. I want you to follow me with them carefully now. First one, “Through the blood of Jesus all my sins are forgiven.” Second one, “Through the blood of Jesus I am redeemed out of the hand of the devil.” Third one,”As I walk in the light, the blood of Jesus is cleansing me now, and continually, from all sin.” And the new one, “Through the blood of Jesus, I am justified, made righteous, just as if I’d never sinned,” and then you can add anything more you like that’s in the Scripture. For instance, you can say, “Through the blood of Jesus I overcome the devil.” Why don’t you say that; say it with me in victory and triumph, “Through the blood of Jesus I overcome the devil.” Now, what’s appropriate? Just take a few minutes there where you are to praise God and thank Him. The more you thank Him, the more real it becomes.
Alright, our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time.
Tomorrow I’ll be speaking about another wonderful provision that has been made for us by the blood of Jesus.