The Bible teaches that justification is gained through faith in Christ. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 also Acts 16:30-31; John 5:24). But what does faith imply?
Relationship with Christ
Justification is not mere impersonal modification of a man’s legal status before God. Faith in Christ means having a personal relationship with Him. Jesus explained, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” (John 15:4). To abide in Christ means that the believer must be in daily communion with Christ and must live His life (Galatians 2:20). This happens through the study of Scriptures (Psalm 119:11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17), prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and witnessing (Romans 10:9) .
Appreciation and gratefulness to God’s love
Also, faith implies an attitude of love and gratefulness toward the Redeemer in reply to His infinite love for those that have fallen away. Therefore, let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift He has given us in his dear Son! (Ephesians 1:6). “I will tell of the LORD’s unfailing love; I praise him for all he has done for us. He has richly blessed the people of Israel because of his mercy and constant love” (Isaiah 63:7).
A willingness to surrender to God
Faith is built on deep appreciation of Jesus for all that He is, with an honest willingness to know Him more and reflect His character. It means a simple trust in the Savior without holding back. It is willingness to take the Lord completely at His word and follow His commands (John 14:15).
Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25).
A desire to reflect God’s character
God is not interested only in forgiving our past sins. He is mainly interested in restoring us to His holy image (Genesis 1:26,27). And we can gain this transformation only through faith in the power of Christ. “And the God of all grace… will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10). Therefore, justification cannot be separated from the transforming experience of the New birth, and the succeeding daily growth in sanctification (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Only through faith, that joyfully accepts and freely enters into every aspect of God’s program for our restoration, can we lawfully claim the imputed righteousness of Christ in justification (Romans 3: 22; 4:25). Then, we can reap the benefits of salvation and declare, “having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
In His service,
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