“He [Jesus] was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
~Romans 4:25 (NIV).
All of what has been formerly discussed is now concluded in this rich and broad statement—one that is unpacked in adequacy only in volumes upon volumes of theological texts; libraries full of them, really.
We are justified—made to look/considered acceptable—by grace alone; by faith alone; by Christ alone.
The simple truth, however, is we deserved death—and were in death—the very essence of spiritual and eternal death, until Christ came to be sin and death for us; the substitutory sacrifice... our sins completely beyond our human placating or rationalisation.
In this life, without Christ, death has become us. We fail for true hope. We have lost our way. We never knew it in truth. Our plot and case is hopeless without the Lord of glory pressing his case hard our way.
The Other Side of the Coin – Life
And this, thankfully, is only truthfully the half of it.
Our justification is based in the purposes of life, for we’re raised to live with Christ, as he died for us and to make that journey to Satan’s abyss, the journey uncontending. Satan’s abyss was, of course, our home. Now no longer. “It is finished” (John 19:30).
None of us deserved this grace of God. Not even the most pious—those religious fanatics of the highest morality.
Sin and Justification are opposite sides of the same coin, as life and death are. Grace is the gilt-edged difference. Why then would we not extend this marvellous grace into the farthest reaches of our very lives? As a concept then, we have great mobs of reflections yet to consider; the meaning forward in God’s grace for our lives unto others’ lives.
Life it is that stands before us and within us. It is up to us.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.
Acknowledgement for the inspiration for this article goes to Pastor Anthony Palmieri.