Summary: How can man be delivered from his desperate spiritual condition? Three important words provide the answer.
"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus...that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus".
It is the Greek word dikaioo, meaning ’to declare righteous.
a) Justification is offered for free - "Being justified freely"
b) Justification is obtained by faith - "him which believeth in Jesus" It is by faith alone, not faith and works.
When Martin Luther discovered this great tenet of Protestantism he said – “I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise”.
Charles Chiniquy was a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. He cleaned the floors of the monastery with a toothbrush, thinking that this would earn him salvation. After twenty-five years as a priest, his bishop demanded that he give up his precious Bible and pledge blind obedience to the Romanism. After a dark night of struggle, he emerged gloriously saved, having read 1 Corinthians 7:23 "Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men".
"Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood".
This is a good King James word. You won’t find it in the modern versions which is an indictment upon them. It is the Greek word hilasterion and teaches two things:
a) Christ took your hell
God’s anger against your sin must be vented, He never overlooks sin nor ‘sweeps it under the carpet’. Through Calvary God’s righteous anger is extinguished.
b) Christ shed His blood
What does the word shed mean? It is the Greek word ekcheo. According to Strong’s lexicon it means ’to pour out or gush out’. Jesus allowed His blood to gush out so that you might be saved from the wrath to come.
"to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past".
It is the Greek word paresis, which literally means to pass over. Our thoughts turn naturally to the first Passover recorded for us in Exodus 12. God is willing to pass over you without causing judgment to fall. But there is one condition - you must be under the blood. Midnight is coming – is the blood on the doorposts of your soul?
Free from the law, O happy condition,
Jesus hath bled and there is remission,
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Grace hath redeemed us once for all.
Once for all, O sinner, receive it,
Once for all, O brother, believe it;
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall,
Christ hath redeemed us once for all.