Justified by His Blood
The great leading doctrine of the gospel, is the justification of a sinner by simple faith in Jesus. The apostles continually dwell on this, and keep it ever before the minds of the Lord's people. Just so should we, for only as we are well-grounded in this doctrine — shall we enjoy peace with God, or be strong to labor in the Lord's cause. This doctrine is viewed from various points, which accounts for the various representations given of it, as "being justified freely by his grace" — "being justified by faith" — and "being now justified by his blood." Romans 5 9. Let us look at this last representation of it.
"Justification." This is more than pardon, for a man may be pardoned — and yet not justified. To justify, is to pronounce a man guiltless, to acquit him of all charges brought against him, and to declare him to be a righteous person. The justified man, is freed from all condemnation; no one can lay anything to his charge in the court of divine justice. He is delivered from the law — being dead to it, and it being dead to him. He is placed under grace — or admitted into the free, full, and unmerited favor of God. He is admitted into friendship with God, who holds free and familiar fellowship with him. He is entitled to participate in, and enjoy, all the blessings of the new and better covenant — such as . . .
peace with God,
liberty and freedom of access to God,
safety through life, and
the glorious inheritance when life is ended.
THE SOURCE OF THIS BLESSING.
"Being now justified by his blood."
Who is the justifier? God the righteous judge of all.
Whom does He justify? Ungodly sinners who believe in Jesus.
Why does He justify? Of his own most free and glorious grace.
When does he justify them? The moment they repent, renounce self, and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
On what ground does he justify? On the ground of the death of Christ, who shed his precious blood — or laid down his life as their substitute to atone for their offences, and satisfy all the claims of the divine law for them. Or, on the ground of his perfect atoning work, which was finished when he shed his blood on the tree; which work is placed to the account of every one who believes on his name. The whole work of Christ is imputed to the believer, and is as much his own to plead before God for his acquittal — as if he had wrought it himself, through the free gift of God. It is reckoned ours as believers, and is acknowledged at God's throne when we plead it. Jesus was made sin for us, having all our sins placed to his account, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Justification is a present blessing. "Being now justified by his blood." There is therefore now no condemnation, to those who are in Christ Jesus. It is wholly on account of what Christ has done. The works of man are not taken into account at all. There is no more virtue in our good works to justify us — than there is in our sins to justify us! On account of the perfect work of Christ, and the perfect work of Christ alone — we are justified.
Justification secures us from wrath. Therefore Jesus is said to have delivered us from the wrath to come. Everyone who reads these lines, is either justified, and so entitled to Heaven; or is condemned — and so doomed to suffer the bitter pains of eternal death. But if we are not justified now, we may be, we shall be — if we believe in Jesus — but in no other way. If we do not believe — then we are condemned already, not only as having broken God's law — but because we have not believed on the name of his only begotten Son.
If we are justified by the blood of Jesus — then he should have all the praise. He wrought out the righteousness by his obedience unto death, and we are justified in his name and for his sake. O mystery of mercy! Jesus took my sins and suffered for them — and I receive his righteousness and am justified by it!
If we perish in our sins, with the Bible in our hands, and the gospel sounding in our ears — we must take all the blame to ourselves. We cannot say that there was no Savior, or that we had no warrant to apply to him, or that he refused to save us; for there is a Savior, and he invites us to come to him, and he has given us his solemn word that He will not refuse us, saying, "I will never cast out!" Reader, how is it with you? Are you justified by the blood of Jesus — or are you condemned for willfully and wickedly rejecting him? One or the other must be the case — which is it? Examine closely, decide instantly, and act accordingly.
In vain do poor blind creatures try
By works themselves to justify;
Your righteousness, O God, exceeds
Men's duties, and their brightest deeds!
Proud Pharisees shall strive in vain
The law's perfection to attain;
While sinners, self-condemned, receive
The gift of righteousness, and live!
Jesus, your life has clearly showed
What means the righteousness of God;
On you your people's hope is laid,
By your obedience, righteous made.
And where your righteousness is given
Your Spirit sanctities for Heaven;
And still renews us by his grace,
Until perfected in holiness.
Though nothing in ourselves we are,
Through Him we shun the sinful snare;
In every strait his hand we see;
And as our day — our strength shall be!