What is it to be Identified with Christ?
This section of teaching looks at the Grace of our Saviour and God and the good works He has called us to walk in because He has given us the free gift of life. We are continually saddened by the "church leaders" that have not been able to grasp the basic Truth that everlasting life is the gift of God bought by the precious blood of the Savior and then teach with "authority" error in the face of such clear Biblical Truth. We never us the term "Once Saved Always Saved" as we believe it is not Scriptural. We do however believe salvation is a free gift, that God made sure through His Grace and kindness to us through Jesus Christ. We believe that this free gift cannot be lost, forsaken, of forfeited in any way because it is God’s gift and is age abiding. Why we believe this is: The word translated "freely" in the New Testament is dorean and like dorea, dorema and doron is derived from didomi, "to give". We cannot stress too strongly the blessed fact that justification is an act of grace, is a gift undeserved and unmerited. The word "freely" occurs in the Gospels, the Epistles and the Revelation:
"Freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8)."They hated Me without a cause" (John 15:25)."I have preached to you the gospel of God freely" (2 Corinthians 11:7)."If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain" (Galatians 2:21)."Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought" (2 Thessalonians 3:8)."The water of life freely" (Revelation 21:6, Revelation 22:17).
The English language will not allow John 15:25 to be translated, "They hated Me freely", but we can say: "They hated Me gratuitously". So in Galatians 2:21, "Christ died in vain" (or gratuitously). Romans chapter five places great emphasis on this gratuitous act of God:
"But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift; for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification". (Romans 5:15-16).
Here God uses not only dorea in verse fifteen, and dorema in verse sixteen, but also charisma, a gift in grace (or gracious gift), translated in both verses "free gift". We doubt whether any definition of grace is complete that does not include this element of a gift, a gift that is the antithesis of "wages" (Romans 6:23), a gift that is without repentance on the part of God (Romans 11:29). The "grace-by-faith-salvation" of Ephesians (2:8) is not of works, but is the gift of God.It is the very essence of love to give. Even sinful men and women manifest their mutual love by the exchange of gifts. Children, parents and friends seize upon birthdays, weddings and almost any festive seasons as opportunities of manifesting their love by gifts. The love of God has been shown for all time in The Gift of His Son (John 3:16), and it is a repeated characteristic of the love of Christ that it gives, and gives all, even to life itself (Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:2 and Ephesians 5:25) to a wretched souls.We have been "justified freely", gratuitously, without a cause, "by His grace". Here we need to pause again that we may receive the double emphasis upon the "grace" element of the gift. Grace is of such a nature that it is, entirely made imperfect by the intrusion of "works" or "wages"."And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work" (Romans 11:6)."Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Romans 4:4-5)."For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal (aionion) life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23)."For by grace are ye saved . . . it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).Let not our own crude sense of right and wrong rob us of the "freeness" of this gift of grace. Romans 3:24 does say we are, "being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." What it does not say is that this freely given justification is through the fact that the Lord Jesus earned a legal righteousness for us by His obedience to the law of Moses. Such an idea robs the grace gift of its glory, and brings God down to the level of a bargainer with His Son, whereas it is God Himself Who loved the world, God Who sent His Son, God Who justifies us freely, God Who provided the ransom which is payment in full for all sin, past, present and future.
Where some schools of theology teach justification through the "imputed obedience", under law, of the Lord Jesus, Romans 3:24 declared that it is through the "redemption" that is in Christ Jesus. The same truth appears in Romans 5:8-9 where we read: "Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood", and again in Romans 4:25: "Who was delivered up because of our offences, and raised again because of our justification." Christ's death dealt with our sin. His blood at once redeems, atones and makes us near. Redemption sets us free, and long before the administration of grace dawned, David realized that God would reckon righteousness where He forgave sin.
"Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin" (Rom. 4:6-8).
It was necessary that sin should be righteously dealt with, and that has been done, but it is the glory of the gospel that the same love that prompted our redemption and our deliverance can provide gratuitously, freely, and without cause (except in the great love of God Himself) "a righteousness of God apart from law".
Shall we reject this loving gift because, WE do not see just how God could give it to us freely and without some external moving cause? We undervalue far too much the initial movement of God in our salvation. Who constrained God in the first place to provide a ransom? What works of righteousness were accomplished, and by whom, before He would send His gift of love down to die? And all that to a world that rejected Him and were dead in trespasses and sin.If we take God at His Word and to not add to it or remove it from it’s context do we not see that in a sense more full than the understanding of men, we may take the words of Romans 8:32:
"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
Here is God's own argument. The "free gift" of righteousness to the believer in the Lord Jesus is freely covered and provided for in the one great gift of all, His own Son. Let none think that his righteousness is not resting upon a firm enough foundation-it is! It rests upon the uninfluenced grace of God. Its bedrock is the love of God that changes not, and the fact of the gift of Christ itself is sufficient pledge that, having given Him, God will freely give, not grudgingly give, or have to be persuaded to give, but freely and without a cause, give all things else that are necessary to life and glory. This does not refer only to the act of justification, but covers all our needs, and our eternal blessedness.
"Justification has altogether a legal signification, and has respect, not to what the man is in actual character, but to what the man is held to be in juridical estimation. It is not that change in himself, by which he is made a just person; but it is that change in his relation to the law and the Lawgiver, by which he is reckoned and treated as a just person. It describes not the man's moral rightness, but his legal right: and however inseparably the two may be conjoined in fact, they ought not on that account to be confounded in idea" (Chalmers).It has been said that the doctrine of justification by faith is held by both Protestant and Roman schools of thought, everything depending, of course, upon exactly what is meant by "faith". It is good, therefore, to be able to express what we mean concerning the freeness of this gift, and the fact that faith has no merit in it, by quoting, insistently, the language of Titus 3:7: "Being justified by His grace". Justification by grace is what we believe and what we intend when using the more common expression "justification by faith" "it is the gift of God".
"Now if you doubt that I am Christ'sIf one suspicion lurksI'll show by deeds that I am HisI'm justified by works."I praise the Lord 'tis all of HimThe grace (Romans 3:24), the faith (Romans 5:1), the blood (Romans 5:9).The resurrection power (Romans 4:25), the works (James 2:18-24),I'm justified by God".(With acknowledgments to the unknown author).
Now the rewards we earn by faithful service can be lost but never the gift of life;
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Today the principles of right division have been almost lost so we offer teachings from the Word of God that will illuminate how to rightly divide the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 2:15 states "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth". Click to learn more.