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“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3: 23,24)

Remember that to justify means to make one a doer of the law, and then read the text again, “Being made a doer of the law freely, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” The redemption that is in Christ is the worthiness, or the purchasing power of Christ. He gives himself to the sinner. His righteousness is given to the one who has sinned, and who believes.

That does not mean that Christ’s righteousness which he did 1900 years ago is laid up for the sinner to be simply credited to his account; it means that His present, active righteousness is given to him. So the one who was a sinner is transformed into a new person, having the very righteousness of God.

It will be seen therefore that there can be no higher state than that of justification [by faith]. It does everything that God can do for one, short of making him immortal, which is done only at the resurrection.

But this does not mean that being justified, there is no more danger of falling into sin. No; “The just shall live by faith.” Faith and submission to God must be exercised continually in order to remain a doer of the law.

This enables us to see clearly the force of these words, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law” (Romans 3:31). Instead of breaking the law and making it of no effect in our lives, we establish it in our hearts by faith. This is so because faith brings Christ into the heart, and the law of God is in the heart of Christ. This One who obeys is the Lord Jesus Christ, and His obedience is done in the heart of everyone who believes.

To Him shall be the glory forever and ever

Waggoner, Signs of the Times, May 1, 1893

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