As we continue with our book launch of In Christ Alone, we’ve come to the most comforting reality as we go through life with all its ups and downs. This reality is completely unaffected by how our day goes.
. . . and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
The great gospel realities can only be experienced “in Christ Jesus.” We’re either in Him or are “separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Paul then continued: “But now in Christ Jesus . . .” (Eph. 2:12-13).
Right before today’s verse, Paul wrote: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). By nature we’re condemned and have no entitlement to the eternal enjoyment of God’s glory. In His great love, though, God gave His Son. It’s through His finished work that the Father freely declares us righteous. That’s the meaning of justification. Even though we’ll still sin each day, He considers and relates to us as righteous.
While we rightly deserve His wrath, He expressed unimaginable grace. Therefore, we can never claim anything from Him except what His grace has given and brought about. That great reality stands in full relation to being “in Christ Jesus.” Elsewhere Paul stated that we’re “justified in Christ” (Gal. 2:17).
When we’re in Him, we’re partakers of everything He has accomplished. His righteous life is our righteous life. His sacrificial death is our death to sin. His resurrection is our resurrection to newness of life. His ascension is our ascension. His glorification is our glorification. In Colossians Paul expressed that as follows: “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).
All these great saving realities—Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, ascension, and glorification—are referred to as “the redemption,” which means a payment—a ransom. From the moment of His birth till He cried, “it is finished,” He paid for our forgiveness and righteousness. That payment is so absolute that Paul said: “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Rom. 8:33). There’s no charge at all, both in relation to what we should and shouldn’t do. He paid for our sins of omission (what we should have done) and our sins of commission (what we shouldn’t have done).
The Devotional Writer