Justified Without Charge

by Mike Ratliff

23 πάντες γὰρ ἥμαρτον καὶ ὑστεροῦνται τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ 24 δικαιούμενοι δωρεὰν τῇ αὐτοῦ χάριτι διὰ τῆς ἀπολυτρώσεως τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ· 25 ὃν προέθετο ὁ θεὸς ἱλαστήριον διὰ [τῆς] πίστεως ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ αἵματι εἰς ἔνδειξιν τῆς δικαιοσύνης αὐτοῦ διὰ τὴν πάρεσιν τῶν προγεγονότων ἁμαρτημάτων 26 ἐν τῇ ἀνοχῇ τοῦ θεοῦ, πρὸς τὴν ἔνδειξιν τῆς δικαιοσύνης αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ νῦν καιρῷ, εἰς τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν δίκαιον καὶ δικαιοῦντα τὸν ἐκ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ. (Romans 3:23-26 NA27)

23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption of Christ Jesus, 25 whom God displayed as a propitiation by his blood received through faith. This was in order to display his righteousness because in his divine forbearance, he passed over previously occurred sins. 26 This was to display his righteousness in the present time, for him to be just and the justifier of the one having faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:23-26 Possessing the Treasure New Testament V1) 

As I got ready to “attend Church” this morning with my wife, I spent some time in prayer as the coffee brewed. I write down what I pray as this helps me focus. There is nothing legalistic in this. There is nothing mystical about it. This just helps me pray. It is also gives me a record of what I pray, which is pretty cool when God answers one of those requests. Part of my prayer this morning was. “…I pray for your glory in and through me this day. I pray for your kingdom to come into fulfillment soon. I pray for you to be glorified in my worship of you this day in church and in my walk and service. Use me as you will. I pray for wisdom and discernment…” There was more of course, but as the worship service began, there was something different. We noticed that we were going to have Communion today because the “Elements” were on the Communion Table. Also, there was a Cello on the stage. When the pastor, Rick Holland, spoke, he said that we would be led in worship by part of the Christian Worship band “Enfield.” The leader and his wife were in town for a wedding. It turned out that the Cellist was the bride. In any case, the music was all Christ glorifying and incredibly edifying. By the time we took communion, I had tears rolling down my face. Did God answer my prayer? Who can worship God like that? It is only those who are justified without charge, the ones justified freely by his grace through the redemption of Christ Jesus.

19 οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι ὅσα ὁ νόμος λέγει τοῖς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ λαλεῖ, ἵνα πᾶν στόμα φραγῇ καὶ ὑπόδικος γένηται πᾶς ὁ κόσμος τῷ θεῷ· 20 διότι ἐξ ἔργων νόμου οὐ δικαιωθήσεται πᾶσα σὰρξ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ, διὰ γὰρ νόμου ἐπίγνωσις ἁμαρτίας. (Romans 3:19, 20 NA27)

19 Now we know that whatever the law says to the ones under the law, that every mouth may be stopped and the entire world may come under judgment by God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified before him, for through the law is full recognition of sin. (Romans 3:19,20 Possessing the Treasure New Testament V1)

All are sinners and deserve judgment for their sins, no exceptions. The entire world is ready to come under the judgment of God. What is man’s solution? Works and religiosity have been the prescription since the fall in Genesis 3, but these verses brutally tell us the truth. There are no works of the law that can cause a person to be justified before God. These works of the law are anything done outside of God’s grace no matter how religious, no matter how pleasing they are to men, no matter how famous or pious the person is…it is all simply works of the law and brings no justification.

21 Νυνὶ δὲ χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ πεφανέρωται μαρτυρουμένη ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου καὶ τῶν προφητῶν, 22 δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας. οὐ γάρ ἐστιν διαστολή, 23 πάντες γὰρ ἥμαρτον καὶ ὑστεροῦνται τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ 24 δικαιούμενοι δωρεὰν τῇ αὐτοῦ χάριτι διὰ τῆς ἀπολυτρώσεως τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ· 25 ὃν προέθετο ὁ θεὸς ἱλαστήριον διὰ [τῆς] πίστεως ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ αἵματι εἰς ἔνδειξιν τῆς δικαιοσύνης αὐτοῦ διὰ τὴν πάρεσιν τῶν προγεγονότων ἁμαρτημάτων 26 ἐν τῇ ἀνοχῇ τοῦ θεοῦ, πρὸς τὴν ἔνδειξιν τῆς δικαιοσύνης αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ νῦν καιρῷ, εἰς τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν δίκαιον καὶ δικαιοῦντα τὸν ἐκ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ. (Romans 3:21-26 NA27)

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, being attested to by the law and the prophets. 22 A righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all the ones believing. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption of Christ Jesus, 25 whom God displayed as a propitiation by his blood received through faith. This was in order to display his righteousness because in his divine forbearance, he passed over previously occurred sins. 26 This was to display his righteousness in the present time, for him to be just and the justifier of the one having faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26 Possessing the Treasure New Testament V1) 

Since no one can be righteous before God by keeping law, the Apostle begins to show us that right standing with God comes through faith in the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. Even a quick reading of these verses makes it clear who is the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus. Do you see his sovereign hand? Do you see the completed work of Christ?

As I took Communion today I shed tears as I thought of my Saviour’s shed blood and broken body on that cross, but also his agony of becoming sin to become the propititiation on behalf of those he came to save. Our sin was imputed to him on the cross and he was treated by God as if he was guilty of all of MY sin. How horrid! Oh the shame! But he willingly did it and by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8,9) I believed the good news and received him as both Lord and Saviour. At that time, the Father justified me. He imputed Christ’s perfect righteousness to my account as well as his perfect obedience to the law. Therefore, in God’s eyes, I am justified without charge. How about you?

Soli Deo Gloria!

11 thoughts on “Justified Without Charge

  1. As Christ hung on the cross, He looked through space and time and saw you and said “It’s worth it.” Why is it worth it? Because God is a jealous God and He wants a relationship with us… SO THAT we might share His Name with all of humanity FOR HIS GLORY!

    Praise His Trice-Holy Name!
    -Christ-Follower
    christatthecenter.wordpress.com

  2. Yes, Mike…the rememberance of the Lord is very moving.
    I’ve been moved to tears also, and in addition felt the bitter, sour taste from the wine as a sensation of His blood, and chewing the cracker, wafer, or bread seems as if I myself am breaking His body on the cross.

  3. Mike,

    Amen and amen. For the Lamb of God alone is worthy! As Christ looked toward the cross and considered the torment of being subjected to the Father’s wrath for our sin, He considered the glory of His name and the name of our Father as worthy of His sacrifice. We are worthy only because His righteousness has been given us by imputation. How great is the love, the Father has lavished upon us – that we might be called the sons of the living God!

    If the table of the Lord’s Supper is rightly presented, the heart of the Christian will be humbled, convicted, and joyful.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful insight into your life.

  4. Communion is usually observed as a perfunctory ritual. It is refreshing to hear about someone moved to tears when he thinks about the price that was paid for him. May God keep your heart broken toward Him, Mike.

  5. Well said Manfred. It was most difficult to put that into words, but as I looked at Romans 1,2,3, et cetera it became quite easy since in what I was rejoicing was the very truths that I had been delivered from the horrid darkness that is common the natural man and that I in no way deserved it. Also, it was such a joy as I was rejoicing in Church yesterday I most definitely remembering thanking the Lord for answering that prayer I had prayed earlier. God is good to those who love him. Soli Deo Gloria!

  6. Thanks for sharing that Mike, i has a similar experience after becoming convicted and converted and its great reminder for us all to continue to being humbled and awed over what Christ has done for us. Please pray for us who can’t find a non compromised with the world local Church to attend.

  7. Christ-Follower… I’m sure you meant well by your response so with my response remeber that I mean no offence and no harm intended to you, but..this is a serious response…
    God doesn’t ‘want’ anything… we are all together worthless, our works are filthy rags… He alone is everything and we need Him and His all encompassing glory, grace, mercy…loving kindness towards us wicked and lost people.
    He didn’t look out into time and say to himself that Brent or anyone else was ‘worth it’… He alone made a sacrifice inspite of our worthlessness to glorify himself so none of us should confuse anyone and glorify man in that process.
    Keep the God of the Bible at the center of your theology instead of man’s worth… man has no worth.
    Sometimes we all need a serious response… if you have one for me or Mike does I will accept one as well.
    Also attempting to drive traffic to your theology is good either.

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