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November 13 Today’s Reading: Acts 13-14
“By Him all that believe are justified from all things.”
God the Holy Spirit sent Paul and Barnabas out by the Church at Antioch to preach the Gospel. Acts 13 and 14 tell us both of their faithful service, laboring in the Gospel, the troubles they endured by a lost religious world set in opposition to God, and the success of their labors by the blessing of God. Wherever they went preaching the Gospel, “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). In every placed, these faithful men preached Christ crucified, expounding “the Word of His grace” (Acts 14:3), declaring one glorious message to poor, needy sinners. — “By him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” O bless His holy name forever, “God according to His promise raised unto Israel a Savior, Jesus” (Acts 13:23).
Pause, O my soul, and meditate upon this wondrous gift of God in the Lord Jesus, my Savior, freely bestowed upon poor needy sinners by His immaculate mercy, — complete justification! What can be more blessed?
Poor, guilty sinners need a rich and holy Savior. We cannot justify ourselves in the sight of God. With Job we cry, “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse” (Job 9:20). None can be justified by the deeds of the law; for by the law is the knowledge of sin. By the law we learn that we have sinned and come short of God’s glory. The law identifies, exposes, and condemns sin; but the law cannot remove sin. We cannot be justified by the offerings and sacrifices made under the law of Moses; for the blood of bulls and of goats can never take away sin. How then, by what means can a sinner be justified? Who can perform this great work? — “It is God that justifieth,” and God alone; and even God Himself can perform this great work only by the doing and dying of His darling as our God-man Mediator and Substitute, the Savior He raised up according to His promise. — “By Him (the Lord Jesus Christ) all that believe are justified from all things.”
Oh, how completely satisfying to the conscience is redemption by the Christ of God, “whom God hath set forth as a propitiation, through faith in his blood!” This blessing of grace reaches to all who believe and is justification from all things! It is a present, full, free, irreversible justification. “The blood of Jesus Christ his (God’s) Son cleanseth us from all sin!” The righteousness of Christ is to all and upon all that believe.
Rejoice to remember that free, complete, full, absolute justification means that all who believe are equally justified. Yes, some believers are strong and some weak, some are very knowledgeable and some not very knowledgeable, some are very experienced in grace and some are newborn babes in grace; but all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ “are justified from all things.” All are equally justified because all are fully justified. This is truly a soul-satisfying justification. Our justification does not hinge or in any way depend upon our apprehension of it, but upon Christ alone. Who dares lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? “It is Christ that died!”
This complete justification of our souls is the everlasting safety and security of our souls. There is not in any believer a single spot or speck of sin before God, but only perfection and holiness, the perfection and holiness of Christ. There is nothing lacking in any believer. In union with Christ, being justified by His blood, “by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Trusting Him, we have “peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord” and are assured by God Himself that we shall never come into condemnation!