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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Why Has God Justified Us?, #3
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (II Corinthians 5:17)
We cannot come to God on our own. We must approach God, and His program of salvation, through the cross of Christ. God meets man only at the cross. The Christian redemption is not a philosophy. It is a Divine intervention into the race of Adam such that a human being is transformed into a new creation who behaves in a righteous manner. The transformation of the human being looks to the cross for its authority and to the Holy Spirit for its wisdom and power.
Having been justified by faith we now are eligible to be married to the Lamb. We are married to the Lamb by eating His flesh and drinking His blood. The Lamb's flesh and blood are our eternal life and will raise us up at His coming.
The Communion service represents our partaking of the body and blood of the Lamb. But like water baptism, which represents our death and resurrection in Christ, and then is borne out in actual experience, so the partaking of the body and blood of the Lamb are borne out in actual experience.
Each day we have choices to make as we encounter several problems and responsibilities. We can choose to solve our problems and fulfill our responsibilities by relying on our own wisdom, strength, abilities, and experience. Or we can look to the Lord at each moment. If we look to the Lord at each point of action, instead of to our own resources, the Lord nourishes us with His body and blood.
If, when we are tempted, we choose to turn aside from the desires of our sinful nature and behave according to the guidelines found in the New Testament, the Lord nourishes us with His body and blood.
Finally we are living by the Lamb's body and blood as He lives by the Father.
Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. (John 6:53)
There is no manner in which we can overdo drawing close to Jesus in each circumstance. He greatly desires this kind of intimacy. We are to abide in Him as closely as a branch abides in the vine.
The Christian salvation is not a religion. It is an abiding in Christ.
So we see, then, that justification by faith makes it possible for us to be married to the Lamb. Notice that we are being married to the Lamb now, as we live by His body and blood. The marriage of the Lamb that will be announced at His return is really a revealing of a union that already has occurred.
The new Jerusalem, which is the glorified Christian Church, is the Wife of the Lamb.
The third step, for which justification by faith and marriage to the Lamb are prerequisites, consists of our change into the image of Christ, and our entrance into untroubled rest in the center of God's Person and will.
Our change into the image of Christ comes about as the Holy Spirit puts our sinful nature to death, and Christ is formed in us.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)
Our entrance into untroubled rest in the center of God's Person and will is accomplished as we experience the Glory which God has given Christ, and also as we abide patiently in the prison in which Christ allows Satan to place us.
To be continued.