Justification by Faith, Christ as Our Sanctification, and Christ as Our Reward
Assurance of eternal life comes from understanding and believing in the Gospel of grace. Key aspects to understand without resorting to law-keeping are justification by faith (Romans 3:28), Christ as our sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30), and Christ as our reward (Colossians 3:24, Genesis 15:1). The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16), and the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith (Romans 1:17). These are high level phrases that are worth pursuing in greater detail.
What does it mean that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, for example? Did you know justification is not about your rightoeusness, but about the rightoeusness of God being put on display? The focus of Satan’s accusation is that God cannot be righteous while justifying sinners and making them sons and heirs of the kingdom to come. How does faith put God’s righteousness on display? This is beyond the scope of this short article, but I recommend my book, “Romans I-VIII – Christ our righteousness in Heaven, our life on earth.”
Guarding Our Crown and Not Being Moved Away from the Gospel
The Gospel does the work of discipleship for us (Philippians 1:6), and through abiding in Christ and His word (John 15:5), we will not be “unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.” To be fruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ has to do with discerning and recognizing the true from the false. Our bridegroom is not a “hard taskmaster” who is waiting with a lash to beat us and shame us during the day of our wedding. Where do we get these kinds of ideas? We get them because we quickly moved away from the Gospel and we do not guard our crown. Jesus said, “Behold, I come quickly, hold fast to what thou hast, and let no man take your crown.” (Revelation 3:11)
Paul warned that we should not be moved away from the gospel, and we should let no one defraud us, carrying us off as spoil through their philosophy and empty deceit, and “not according to Christ”, because we are complete in Him. Paul warns in Colossians 2:18-19 that we should let no one “disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.” The Gospel in its full, unfolded truth, tells us that we are crowned. The knowledge of Jesus Christ makes us confident to run to Him, and that running is actually an “abundant entrance into the kingdom” (1 Peter 1:11) furnished by Jesus Christ Himself to us, through the knowledge of Him. The knowledge comes from a deeper appreciation of the Gospel, which is our source of hope and supply of the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14, Galatians 3:1-6), so we must guard our crown and not be moved away from it!
Trusting in God’s Love and View of Us as Heirs and Children
Salvation and inheritance go together (Ephesians 1:11), and the Gospel answers all accusations against us (Romans 8:33-34). As heirs and children of God, we can trust in His love and view of us, knowing that the Gospel provides everything we need for our assurance of salvation.
Assurance from Christ’s Righteousness
Ultimately, our assurance comes from the knowledge of Christ as our righteousness through the Gospel, which not only secures our salvation (Romans 5:19) but also gives us confidence and assurance in our relationship with Him (Hebrews 4:16). Through Christ, we are empowered to face the day of judgment without fear or condemnation (1 John 4:17-18).
I. Assurance of eternal life through understanding and believing in the Gospel of grace
- A. Justification by faith (Romans 3:28)
- B. Christ as our sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30)
- C. Christ as our reward (Colossians 3:24)
- D. Importance of understanding without resorting to law-keeping (Galatians 2:16)
- E. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16)
- F. The righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith (Romans 1:17)
II. Guarding our crown and not being moved away from the Gospel
- A. The Gospel does the work of discipleship for us (Philippians 1:6)
- B. Abiding in Christ and His word (John 15:5)
- C. The Gospel bears fruit in us as we become fully assured (Colossians 1:5-6,2:2-3)
- D. The Gospel as our source of hope and supply of the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14)
III. Trusting in God’s love and view of us as heirs and children
- A. Salvation and inheritance go together (Ephesians 1:11)
- B. The Gospel answers all accusations against us (Romans 8:33-34)
IV. Assurance from Christ’s righteousness
- A. Securing our salvation (Romans 5:19)
- B. Giving us confidence and assurance in our relationship with Him (Hebrews 4:16)
- C. Empowering us to face the day of judgment without fear or condemnation (1 John 4:17-18)
- How to Know from the Scriptures that the Patriarchs were Justified by Faith
- How Do We Know We Love the Brethren?
- How the Gospel Reveals the Righteousness of God
- Preaching the Gospel to Yourself
- How to Have Righteousness and Holiness in Life