Christ Jesus is the One


The following is a guest post from Pastor Jeff Saltzmann of Bethel Grace Baptist Church in Bellflower, California.

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. -Romans 8:33-34 (ESV)

This Easter, Bethel Grace Baptist Church celebrated the truth that Jesus Christ saves sinners. Furthermore, He is uniquely qualified, and more than competent, to defend their case against satanic opposition (Rev. 12:10).  Jesus is the one who died, who was raised, and who was exalted to His Father’s right hand in Messianic glory. Christ saves, preserves, and defends his people on the basis of His crucifixion, resurrection, and coronation.

To close the sermon, I posed five questions hoping to drive home the point that we are secure in Christ. Each question has the same glorious answer.  I pray these five questions, by drawing attention to the one recurring answer, will fortify and encourage every believing heart.

  1. When you’re on Satan’s hit list, and that time of spiritual warfare is at hand, who is the one that can be your sure defense? Christ Jesus is the One.
  1. When you’re walking through the shadowed valley, and the storm clouds of the curse gather and life becomes dim, and you feel the heaviness of it all, and unseen spiritual enemies perceive your weakened state and unite to do you harm, who is the one at your side, who can guide you with His staff and protect you with His rod? Christ Jesus is the One.
  1. When that hour of temptation comes when sin entices you, and your flesh wants to give in, who is the one who can provide for you a clear way of escape, giving you the clarity and the perspective that you need to say, “No” to sin and stay on the path of obedience and blessing? Christ Jesus is the One.
  1. When you let your sin get the best of you, and you stumble into transgression, and you, as a Christian, do what your soul hates, and you are discouraged and downtrodden asking yourself “Why have I done that again?” When you despise yourself under this oppression of sin, who is the one who loves you still, who will scatter your accusers, who will lift you back up to your feet, and hold on to you, and prop you up, and see you through, and restore you to that path of blessing and holiness and joy in the Lord? Christ Jesus is the One.
  1. When the time comes, and your body expires, and your soul departs, and you go before the awesome throne of the Living God and find your soul quaking before the majesty and the glory and the immensity of appearing before the pristine purity of God Almighty, who is the one who can present you faultless, sinless, perfect, and righteous in the midst of the sound of mighty shouts of joy? Christ Jesus is the One!

-Pastor Jeff Saltzmann, Bethel Grace Baptist Church

To listen to Pastor Jeff’s powerful full sermon, click the following link and be blessed. Christ Jesus is the One!

 

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Truth These Days Seems Up For Grabs [Poem]

Truth these days seems up for grabs,
When at God’s Word they take their jabs.
The truth of God, it will not fail
Though so many against it rail.

They will someday, bear the shock
Standing before the God they mock
“How can we know” is their battle cry
Ignorance is bliss, is what they imply.

If we cannot know, we can’t be charged.
With immorality enlarged
God is not fooled by sinful games
And everyone, He knows their names.

For all men know, is what He said
Still they suppress the truth instead.
Without excuse, they stand and wait
To face the Law they desecrate.

Yet truth can still break the lock
When they meet the Stumbling Block
His mercy’s there for all who come
When to Truth, they do succumb.

-D. Eaton

Understanding Justification: The Necessity of Double Imputation

The Illustration

Double Imputation

His mom had laid out the situation. The room was to be clean by 4:00 p.m. If he completed the job on time, his mom would buy him movie tickets so he could go out with his friends. If he did not finish on time, he would be grounded for a week. At 4:00 p.m. he had not even started to clean the room, and he was grounded. What was astonishing was what he did when he finished serving his time. He walked up to his mother and said, “my punishment has been paid, now give me my movie tickets.” The request was absurd. Even though the penalty had been paid, he never fulfilled what was required to receive the reward.

The Explanation

We have all come into this world under certain requirements. We are called to live a righteous life. If we accomplish it, there is blessing, and if not, there is cursing. The problem is that Adam was unsuccessful, along with everyone who came after him. You and I have failed to inherit eternal life and have merited nothing but wrath. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

No one had been successful until Jesus took on flesh and walked among us. He came, lived a perfect life and fulfilled the law. Then he went and died for our sins. He took our sins upon himself on the cross, becoming a curse for us. He bore the wrath that we deserved, but bearing our sins is not all he did. If it were, we would be like the young man asking for the reward after our punishment had been paid but having no claim to it. This shortcoming is why it is so important to understand that our justification involves two imputations: for those who have faith, our sins are imputed to Christ, and his righteousness is imputed to us.

Righteousness is more than guiltlessness. As our representative, Jesus not only bore our punishment and forgives us of our sins, but he also earned the reward by fulfilling what needed to be done. His righteousness is counted as ours. Because of this, we are not simply sinners who can no longer be punished. Instead, we are counted as those who had fulfilled the law, and we become co-heirs with Christ. Even now there is an inheritance being kept for us: one that can never perish, spoil, or fade.

When we stand before the Lord one day, we will have no merit of our own. We will stand and say, “it is because of what the Lord Jesus did in my place that I am declared righteous.” It is true that we will grow in righteousness as believers here and now, but the righteousness we attain in this life will never be the basis upon which we have a right standing before the Lord. Like Abraham, it is through faith that we are declared righteous, and it will always be Christ’s righteousness.

For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.-Romans 5:19

D. Eaton