Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 ; Romans 5:1-11
Can you imagine what it means that God sees us as righteous? It has been said that when He justified us, it was as though in His eyes, it was “just-as-if-I’d” never sinned! He no longer counts our sins against us. All the guilt of the past has gone, although one of the enemy’s ploys is to try to keep reminding you of your guilty past! Isaiah chapter sixty-one is full of wonderful promises. God’s people will be called trees of righteousness [verse 3]. Instead of their mourning over their sin they shall be comforted. Beauty will replace ashes – ashes are not beautiful and are what is left when the fire has gone out. Joy will replace mourning and praise heaviness. I love verse seven, “Instead of your shame you shall have double honour.”
A young man recently called me and said although he now loves the Lord that sometimes his past haunts him. When God declared us righteous in His sight it meant beauty, joy, praise and double honour. When the devil tries to remind you of your past remind him of these promises, and then remind him of his future!
Paul wrote so much in Romans about the blessings of God declaring us righteous [justified] – Firstly, peace [Romans 5:1]. Isaiah wrote, “The work of righteousness shall be peace” [Isaiah 32:17]. Secondly, access into God’s presence [Romans 5:2a]. Thirdly, we have hope in God [Romans 5:2b] – peace speaks to the past, access to the present, and hope for the future. This hope is the helmet of salvation that protects our mind [1 Thessalonians 5:8]. Fourthly, confidence in God [Romans 5:3-4] – there may be trials but they work for us and not against us, and even bring us closer to the Lord and make us more like Him. Fifthly, love [Romans 5:5] – the Holy Spirit pours God’s love into our hearts, Sixthly, Salvation from future wrath [Romans 5:9] – through justification God’s anger is averted and we can face the day of God’s judgment without fear. Seventhly, Reconciliation with God [Romans 5:10-11] – the word reconciliation is sometimes translated as atonement, meaning “brought back into fellowship with God.”
A review of these seven blessings of justification shows how certain our salvation is in Christ. Totally apart from Law, and purely by grace, we have a salvation that takes care of the past, the present, and the future. Christ died for us; Christ lives for us; Christ is coming for us!
Many people are haunted by mistakes and trauma in the past. What does God say about our guilt and shame? How can we let go of those things and accept what God says about us?
Would you allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you as you read again slowly these seven blessings of justification and then thank God for each one of them?
Isaiah speaks of God’s people as “trees of righteousness.” What does this picture portray to you?