We saw yesterday that regeneration and renewal are the work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Christian is born again and is changed (and is being changed). If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
At the same time as giving us new life, God also does a work for and to us, which we received through faith when we were saved. Verse 7 says, “Being justified by His grace.”
Being justified means being made righteous in God’s sight. All sin and guilt is removed and God sees us as having obeyed Him perfectly.
This is what God has done for us, by His grace. We deserve judgement because we are guilty, but we receive the opposite of judgement – we receive favour, forgiveness, kindness, love, blessing, we know God, we can stand in His holy presence, we have an eternal inheritance, all as a free gift.
This is all “through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (verse 6). He took our sin and guilt on the cross; He died our death. He “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). He was 100% righteous and, in exchange for our sin, He gave us His righteousness.
This is what the Westminster Shorter Catechism says on justification:
Q33: What is justification?WSC, Q33
Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in His sign, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.
Shout out your praise today! What an awesome God of grace!
Yesterday’s and today’s verses go together. Yesterday was about our condition: the believer has new life, eternal life to live for God’s glory, starting now. Today is about our position: the believer is righteous in God’s sight, by grace alone, even though we still sin.
When the enemy accuses you, declare, “I am justified by His grace.” When the enemy tempts you, remind yourself, “I am born again and live now for God’s glory.”
May the Lord encourage you today.