Grace preachers preach a lot about The Finished work of Christ on the cross. Indeed, the Cross is the finished work that no one can add to and no one can take away from. It is completely complete, and perfectly perfect. It lays the solid foundation for man’s salvation. But, there is also the unfinished work of Christ. The book of Act defined one of these that Christ has begun and the Disciples shall continue the ministry on earth.
Act 1:1-2 (NLT) In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus BEGAN TO DO AND TEACH (to preach the Gospel) until the day He was taken up to heaven after giving His chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit.
Luke who also wrote his first book of Luke, told another disciple, Theophilus, that Jesus’ Finished work is just a BEGINNING, they will have to continue the doing and preaching of the Gospel. This is the part of Jesus’ ministry that is still on going on this earth and it shall be executed by His body, i.e. the Church / the followers of Jesus, i.e. we – you & I, in this present days, until we meet face to face again with Him.
Jesus gave them this specific instruction on the last 40-day after His resurrection, the day before He was taken up into a cloud and into Heaven and sit at the right hand of Father God:
Act 1:8 (NLT) “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My WITNESSES, telling people about Me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Witnesses do not necessarily preach the Gospel, but more of the doer of the Gospel; when you believe in the Gospel, your actions in every day’s life will also reflect the Gospel. Believing Right produces Living Right. People can see you supernaturally different from others, there is something special about you, and they want to be like you, because they can see Jesus living in you.
This is the work that is unfinished to be continued by the disciples of Jesus, and there is also unfinished work on the part of Lord Jesus as well, that you are unaware, because it is invisible. We are normally aware only to what God has done. But do you know God is still continuously doing and working for you? (Php 2:13), God is still working in you, and around you. Even as you are reading this, God is still doing. Before you are reading this, God is already doing, and after you read this, God will still be doing. What God is doing, is based on the done. Based on the finished work of Christ. For instance, if God is healing you right now, is based on the HEALED (past tense) that “by His Stripe you were healed”.
Being aware of this fact will result in the positive Confident expectation of good be it right now (= Faith) or in the future (= Bible Hope). This hope is the helmet of Salvation which covers our thought / mind from being attacked by the Devils. Bible hope is not like the “hope” of the world, because bible hope never disappoints (Rom 5:5), it will certainly happen. And, when we know what God is continuously doing in the invisible realm, we will have this helmet of salvation / bible hope to protect us from the bad news and evils surrounding us. We shall not be afraid nor fear anymore! We shall have both: bold faith and bible hope. All because we have been Justified.
Rom 5:1 (NKJV) Therefore, having been JUSTIFIED by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Firstly, the word JUSTIFIED, means “just if I have never sinned” / Righteousness by Faith. Being justified does not mean I will never sin again, but it really means God will NEVER IMPUTE sins in my life, God sees me righteous even though at times I may fall into sins.
Q: How can God still sees me righteous even when I sinned?
A: The same way, even though God saw no sins in Jesus who is perfectly holy and righteous, yet God imputed all our sins to Jesus on the Cross. This is the greatest marvel that no human mind can understand how God could do so. We just need to learn to accept this truth, and receive the fact by faith that we are righteous no matter what come may.
Justified also only refers and applicable only to imperfect people with sins. Perfect people no need to be justified anymore. Therefore, the main condition for you to be justified by God is you are being the imperfect people. Jesus is the savior for imperfect people. Jesus said: “Those who are well have no need of a doctor, but those who are sick. I have come for the sinners not the Righteous”. Well, this is “tongue in cheek” expression, there is deeper meaning, because Jesus was talking to the Scribes and the Pharisees who rejected Him and were complaining against His disciples. Certainly NO ONE on planet earth is righteous except Jesus Christ alone, thus everyone has sins and need a Savior. But, if you think you do not need a Savior, then Jesus will not force His Salvation on you, He will not save you if you reject Him.
Rom 3:24 (NKJV) being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Justification is also FREE no conditions whatsoever, and to be justified freely, you can only possess it by His GRACE, and not try to earn it by following the Law (10th Commandments). You cannot have it by any other ways but His Grace.
God also cannot just presumptuously make a sinner righteous without a solid foundation, and the Righteous Foundation is the Cross of Jesus Christ where He took all our sins. And If you believe this, you will have activated the New Covenant that God has sworn to give. If I can put it in blunt word: God is now divinely obliged by the New Covenant sealed in Jesus’ blood, to impute Righteousness to you.
Now, we will be learning the original Greek Language. God chose the Greek Language at the right time for His New Testament because it is an amazing language, not only it is rich in word vocabulary, but also different tenses to reflect richly its meaning imperatively, indicatively, expressing the mood and the voice whether it is active voice or passive voice.
Rom 5:1 (NKJV) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
TENSES of JUSTIFIED:
- An Aorist (ˈeɪ.ərɨst) tense which is to express happening in the past event.
- It is also a PRESENT PASSIVE PARTICIPLE: You are not the one doing it, but God is CONTINUOUSLY imputing Righteousness to you; continuously before you fail, when you fail, and after you fail.
The redemption is done, perfect and complete, but look on our part as the recipient, in the subsequent verses:
Rom 5:17 (NKJV) For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who RECEIVE abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
TENSES of RECEIVE:
PRESENT ACTIVE PARTICIPLE / you need to always be aware of it, always conscious of it, especially when you fail, continuously keep on receiving.
Therefore, there is not a time that you are not righteous, because God is continuously & unceasingly justifying you at any moment without ending, forever. It is indeed a point in time in the past you have received Jesus, and in your daily walk when you failed God or fell into sins, and the devils put the accusation in your mind “I’m not righteous anymore”. What shall you do when you do not feel Righteous?
My friend, when you do not feel righteous, it is not you, but merely your FEELING only. Treat your Feeling like when you’re on a journey in a car or bus, and you are looking out the window. Sometimes, you will see nice good scenery, and sometimes bad ones. Treat your Feeling like you’re a Spectator. Just watching your feeling passes by, enjoy it, Do not withhold your feeling for it may explode, but don’t let your feeling define you / overtake you either. Just enjoy it! And, believe in this Truth that God is still treating you as righteous and you are still getting blessed by Him. God never stops imputing righteousness to you and never stop blessing you. And you have to also continuously believe it by receiving it again and again, especially WHEN you fail Him. Now, knowing and believing this truth will not cause you a careless living, but will make you fall in love with Him even more, and will empower you to walk more in holiness.