The justified sinners: who are they? Are you a justified sinner? Typically when we think about sinners, the word justified is not one that comes to mind. (Justified: having or shown to have a just, right, or reasonable basis.) No, when we think of sinners, we consider them to be completely wicked and evil. I preached a sermon around this time last year – Sitting Down With Sinners – where I took a look at how Jesus thought of everyone when He physically lived.
Many of us, once we become believers, start to think from a sort of superiority complex when it comes to sinners. (We look down on them.) However, were we not all sinners at one point in time? Thankfully, Jesus did not enter our world with that mindset. So, are you a justified sinner? Paul says that God justifies His elect. Who exactly is God’s elect?
When someone is elected, that means that they have been chosen. We hold elections to choose a president every 4 years. So, to be God’s elect means to be God’s chosen – these are the chosen people of God. The question that we must answer next is: who has God chosen to be His people?
The fold of Israel
Typically, when we hear the phrase “God’s chosen people”, we think of the nation of Israel. (This is all of those who come through the seed of Jacob/Israel.) Scripture makes it clear that those of Jacob’s seed are the chosen people of God. In the book of Genesis (Gen. 32:22-28), we are told about a wrestling match that Jacob had with the Lord. Jacob chose to hold on to the Lord, and for this God changed Jacob’s name to Israel because he struggled with God and men, and prevailed.
Israel ended up in the land of Egypt in bondage but the Lord still remained with them and brought them out. The Lord chose to give the Israelites His law when they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. To them, God said that they would be a special treasure to Him if they kept His covenant with them (Ex. 19:5-6). (They were to be obedient to His law.)
Again in the book of Deuteronomy, we see Israel being told again that they are special treasure to God (Deut. 7:6). This was being told to a new generation of Israelites that would cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. Even in the kingdom years, we find that God was reminding the Israelites that they are indeed His chosen people (Is. 43:1; 44:1).
The other fold of the elect
So, it would seem that in order to be part of God’s elect, you must be of Israel, right? This is something I have had discussions about, taught about, and preached about before because there are many people who get hung up thinking this. Before Jacob, there was his granddad and a promise was made with him.
In the book of Genesis, you will read about his granddad, Abraham. Abraham was a man that moved out of faith in the Lord regardless of what others thought of him. Because of his faith, God promised to Abraham the land of Canaan and that a great nation would come through him. (That nation eventually being Israel).
Yet, within that promise, God said to Abraham that all nations of the earth shall be blessed (Gen. 22:18). Within this promise, we see that God did not choose just one nation to be a special treasure but all nations to be a special treasure to Him! We are told that God sent His only begotten Son to the world, not just one nation. Jesus taught there were sheep who were not of the fold of Israel that He would bring with Him to join with Israel and be of one big fold (John 10:16).
The Fourfold Work of Christ
Let’s make this clear: God’s elect is made up of all nations of people; it is made up of those of Israel and every other nation of people. To understand this, to know even further as to who God’s elect is, we must take a look at the fourfold work of Christ. Let’s take a look at the fourfold work of Christ in my key verse for today’s message.
The first work: we are told that Christ died. In this work, we find the significance of the manifestation of Christ and who it is He died for. We can take the words of Christ Himself to know the purpose of His manifestation and death. In the gospels, it is recorded that Christ sat in the presence of many tax collectors, sinners, Pharisees, and His apostles and told them who He came for (Matt. 9:10-13). Jesus said, “For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
So, who did Jesus come for? Not the righteous, but the sinners! All of us, I want you to understand, are sinners! We are born into it and it becomes our nature. Some of us get hooked so much into sin that sinning becomes a habit and a way of life. To sin means to be disobedient and oppose the way of God. There are sins that we commit knowingly and sins that we commit unknowingly. The punishment of sin is eternal death. Through His death, Jesus takes away this death from the sinner.
The second work: we are told that Christ is risen. There is significance and purpose that we find in the resurrection of Christ. Christ promised forgiveness and salvation of one’s sin if one would choose to believe in Him. Again, notice that this promise is made to the sinner. It is through His resurrection that we know Christ has the power to do anything.
Christ promised that one would be justified through faith in Him and in His resurrection. Through our faith in Christ we become justified sinners. A justified sinner is one who was once a sinner but has gained forgiveness of their sins. There is no other way outside of genuinely believing in Christ for someone to become justified. All sinners must be washed by the blood of Christ, repent to God, and take on that new talk and new walk to be justified!
Christ reigns and intercedes
The third work: we are also told that Christ is even at the right hand of God. What is the significance and purpose of this? To take up position at the right hand of the Father, we see Christ assuming a position equal to that of the Father. Christ is living and reigning in heaven with all power in His hands! In this position, we come across the fourth work of Christ: He makes intercession for us.
All of these works are great and significant work, but the work of being our intercessor is truly remarkable. Christ lives and sits at the right hand of God to intervene on the behalf of the justified sinner. Again, this sinner is one who has chosen to have faith in Him and now as intercessor, Christ works on their behalf!
Did you forget to pray today? Christ has already interceded on your behalf and spoken a word to our heavenly Father – His Father. When one would seek to condemn and destroy us, Christ, again, will intercede on our behalf! When we error – when we sin – Christ, again, will intercede on behalf of you! The fourfold work of Christ is a work that constantly covers the sinner that has become a justified sinner! We should certainly thank Him for this work.
Who Can Condemn You?
Again, I ask the question, are you a justified sinner? Paul asked, who can bring a charge against God’s elect? If you are a genuine believer of Christ, you are a special treasure of God – His elect. Know this: no person can lay charge against one who is truly a child of God. Christ stands as the intercessor between us and all hurt, harm, and danger.
Also, no man has the power or authority to condemn in the first place. The only one who has such power and authority is the Lord. Even the Lord will not condemn the justified sinner because Christ has already taken on the punishment of sin for that sinner! The justified sinners will spend their days of eternity in paradise with the Lord. The unjustified sinner will spend their days of eternity suffering the Lord’s punishment of sin. As always, I pray you choose Christ and not the way of the unjustified sinner.