Monday, August 18, 2014

“Therefore, having been JUSTIFIED by faith" (Rom 5:12) How can God be just while acquitting the guilty? Part 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” (Rom 5:1-2)

Why does God acquit on the basis of faith? How can one be declared NOT GUILTY without receiving the just punishment for the crime. This certainly isn’t anything like the legal system!

This leads to an even more perplexing and troubling question. How can God be JUST if the guilty walk free?  Consider what would happen in your town if a judge allowed a murderer to walk free from his court? And .. what if the same judge descended from the bench and embraced the acquitted as a brother and friend!!!! How could this be right? and yet ... this is exactly what God does! He “justifies” the guilty and embraces him a beloved brother. The answer to this conundrum is one of the most important and amazing revelations in God’s Word.  It is one thing to know THAT God will acquit but, it’s another thing to appreciate why He CAN acquit and still be just! 

There is a reason why we are born with a sinful disposition. We “naturally” lie, steal, etc. Nobody teaches us. The Bible reveals that this condition is due to our “connection” with Adam, “the head” of mankind. God does not create us as independent and separate individuals. In a sense, there is no “new creation” when one is born. When God created Adam, He created all. We are all “connected” to Adam. There is a solidarity with the head of our race. We are all “in Adam” (1 Cor 15:22). This may sound strange but its importance cannot be understated. Our standing before God is not on the basis of who we are as individuals but on the basis of our solidarity. This is how God sees us.

The implications are truly profound. Just consider the following .. “as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor 15:22).   ... continued in the next issue.

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