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Are You Justified?

When God gave His laws through Moses, the Lord made it very clear that He would bless obedience and curse disobedience. Scanning the Jew’s tumultuous history proves that God means what He says.

When the Jews were enduring the Babylonian captivity, and the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem, which was the result of their sin, God told them through His prophet Ezekiel, that obedience would spare their lives and keep them from dying in their sins, but: “… None can keep alive his own soul” – Psalm 22:29.

However, while obedience to God’s word can bring blessings and protection, human attempts to justify, or present ourselves righteous and sinless before a holy God will not and cannot be accepted. The prophet David says, “Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplication: in Your faithfulness, answer me, and in Your righteousness:
   And enter not into judgment with your servant: for in Your sight shall no man living be justified - Psalm 143:1,2.

The prophet Isaiah concurs. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” – Isaiah 64:6.

In light of these scriptures, no one can justify himself, only God can justify those who repent of their sins and come to Him through His plan of redemption.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they were forgiven and covered by the skins of the first sacrifice that God instigated Himself (Genesis 3:21). In other words, man can only be justified, forgiven and accepted as sinless through an act of God. This fact was recognized by the prophets, yet their words are still neglected as the Jews and Muslims seek to be justified by their faulty human efforts.

God ordained the Messiah to be the only accepted justifier of mankind. That is why Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the Life: no one comes to the Father but by Me” - John 14:6.

His sacrifice, which is the fulfillment of the first sacrifice in Eden that foreshadowed God’s plan of redemption, is recounted in Isaiah’s prophecy. –

“He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed – Isaiah 53:5.
    “He (God) shall see the travail of His (the Messiah’s) soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities” – Isaiah 53:11.

God put all of mankind’s sin and rebellion against Him upon the Messiah’s soul, and we are declared justified and righteous through repentance and faith in God’s plan of redemption; the atonement of Jesus the Messiah: For with God nothing shall be impossible - Luke 1:37.

It is ironic that while the Muslims do not believe that one man can remove the sins of the world, they also believe that God can do anything. Therefore their rejection of Jesus’ atonement for the sins of mankind, is a direct contradiction of their own belief in God’s omnipotence. - Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for Me? – Jeremiah 32:27.

The fact that man can be deemed righteous through the Messiah is prophesied in Jeremiah 23:5,6.

Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, ... In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

Fear of death is removed and those who put their trust in the Messiah Jesus can dwell safely, for their souls have the promise of eternal life – because they have been justified by His sacrifice.

The scriptures show us plainly that no man can be justified, declared sinless by their own efforts. Let’s keep in mind that “… the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” – I Samuel 16:7. And God says, “…I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them” – Ezekiel 11:5.

In order for a mere man to present himself justified and sinless, he would not only have to keep the entire law perfectly his entire life, but also maintain a perfect thought life. Only the Messiah Jesus has been ordained to be our perfection, and our righteousness for those who believe. Therefore, only God gets the glory and the pride of man that is the demonic wedge between man and God is removed. “He that glories, let him glory in the Lord” – I Corinthians 1:31 from Jeremiah 9:23,24.

While some today are still striving for that acceptance from God, their pride prevents them from receiving the free gift that God has provided for all humanity. –

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” - John 3:16.

Repent of your striving and receive the Gift that can set you free from the bondage of self-effort, and thank God by doing the things that please Him: - Love one another.

Copyright 2023 by H.D. Shively

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