OUTDATED WORDS OR FOUNDATIONAL TRUTH
Rom. 5:1-2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
I love the message of the grace of God, Christ died for the ungodly. Jesus bore the sins of the vilest of sinners, that is why He came to earth. He has made a legal agreement with His Father, He became one of us to represent us before His Father. His death makes it possible for us to be declared legally righteous, this is called being justified by faith. How does that happen? The just shall live by faith. This is the foundation stone of the Protestant Reformation. We are declared righteous before God by grace through faith. This is the initial revelation that brings us into the kingdom of God. We catch a glimpse of the availability of access to God, we embrace it, and faith brings us into this life of rest and peace.
Does God’s grace nullify our responsibility to live a godly life? Absolutely not, it empowers us to live a Christ like life. Rather than the misery of trying to do right in our own strength, the grace of God empowers us to live a new life in which we enjoy Him and His new life of purity and holiness.
That brings us to the next bible word, sanctification. Sanctification is the work of righteousness that the Holy Spirit performs in our hearts. Peter teaches that we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit, it is the work of the Spirit in our lives that separates us from the world and makes us more and more like Him. Paul said it like this in 2Cor. 3:18 “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
The most surprising thing about the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification is that this is the place that joy begins to come into play. Think about it, what is the attraction of the sins that hold many people captive? The answer is quite obvious, it is the pleasure and enjoyment found in sin that proves to be irresistible. As I learned from Jonathan Edwards, we must fight the pleasurable nature of sin with its own weapon, pleasure. The greatest pleasure available is found in the presence of the Holy Spirit. He is actually the personification of the joy and love of God. It is actually in tasting the pleasure found in the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit that breaks the chains of sin off of our lives. Did you get that? The very thing that the natural man runs from, sanctification, is the very source of supernatural joy.
So, at the end of the day, peace and joy, the very thing that man is searching for, is found in those theological words, justification and sanctification. Rather than removing those “old fashioned” theological terms from our world, we should pursue them with all of our hearts.