I am forgiven, justified, redeemed, and free from condemnation
I’m continuing the series on: How God Sees Us, which commenced here.
We are forgiven people: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7-9).
God not only forgives our sins but he purifies us from all sin. We confess our sins as we become aware of them, and we also receive a constant purification from all sin as we walk in fellowship with him. As well as being forgiven we are also justified. Paul writes: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
The definition of justified from a theological perspective is that a person is declared free from the penalty of sin on ground of Christ’s righteousness. You may have heard before, justified being described as just as if I’d never sinned, which is a good way to remember it. The word justified means made righteous. It’s what Jesus has done for us. Note tense of the verbs: we have already been justified, Jesus has already paid the penalty of our sins. There’s nothing left to do. “Through him [Jesus] everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39).
The Jews were not able to obtain justification under the law of Moses, and neither are we. Since we are no longer under the law, Satan has no basis to accuse us. The lie of the devil is that we must do something to compensate for our sin, by works of some kind to prove our love for God. But it’s not true. We prove our love for God by accepting what he has provided for us.
We are redeemed. There’s a story of a boy who made a small boat to sail on his local lake. But he lost it one windy day when it sailed away. A little while later, he saw his boat in a second-hand shop. He told the owner it was his boat, but the owner wasn’t moved. The boat had to remain in the shop until the boy saved up enough pocket money to buy the boat. Eventually the day came when he had enough money and he bought the boat. The boat became his a second time. It was twice his, once because he made it and second because he bought it back. He redeemed it.
Redemption began in the Old Testament when God freed the Israelites from slavery, “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment” (Exodus 6:6).
From a Bible perspective, redeem means to buy back what was already yours. God created us, but then we went astray and we found ourselves in bondage to sin. So God bought us back with the blood of his Son. We had no resources to free ourselves, just as a human slave can’t buy freedom from his human master. The only hope a slave had was if someone else bought their freedom. Our only hope was if someone would purchase our freedom. “Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:13-14
We are eager to do what is good, because we understand what God has done for us. We have been bought with a price, the precious blood of Jesus. God would say to us, You are twice mine.
We are not condemned. In Romans 8 we find an amazing blessing: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). And the next verse tells us why: “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
The law of the Spirit has freed us from the law of sin. A greater law has come into effect which has overcome the law of sin. Gravity is like a law but when we fly in a plane we overcome the pull of gravity. The law of gravity is overcome by the greater laws of aviation. Likewise when we become Christians, we are freed from the law of sin because a greater law is now operating – the law of the Spirit.
Being a Christian means we operate under the law of the Spirit. We will feel the pull of sin but we are empower by God’s Spirit to overcome it. There still may be days when we crash and fail but we know forgiveness is available. We are not condemned. “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one” (Romans 8:33-34).
Satan will try to condemn us. Satan has already lost the battle for our spirits but he tries to win the battle for our minds by making us feel condemned. The battle for our minds, is to attack our concept of God, and distort the relationship we have with Him. He will try to discredit the truth of who I am as a child of God. Satan’s lies are aimed at causing us to think, I’m stupid, I’m no good, I’m ugly, God doesn’t love me, I can’t be forgiven, Christianity doesn’t work for me.’
Satan accuses us, whereas the Holy Spirit convicts of wrong doing. We know the difference because Satan accusations are vague. He basically wants us to feel bad about ourselves. Whereas the Holy Spirit is specific. We feel guilty about some specify thing we have done wrong. He wants us to confess so we find freedom.
The New Age Movement tries to convince people that it is by believing something we make it true. But the Christian says “It is true, therefore I believe it, whether I feel like it or not.”