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Devotional - week of March 20, 2005


RAISED BECAUSE OF OUR JUSTIFICATION

… [Jesus] was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.  Romans 4:25

The moment one receives Jesus as his Lord and Savior by faith, God justifies him. That is, God declares him to be righteous and will relate to him as though he is righteous even though he is not.

Throughout his writings, Paul attributes the believer’s justification by faith to the crucifixion of Jesus. Why, in Romans 4:25, does Paul say that Jesus was raised because of our justification?

Paul writes in Galatians 3:13 that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us when He died on the cross. He then says in verse 14:

… that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 

The blessing of Abraham was justification as shown in Galatians 3:6. Paul’s “… that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” is a reference to the Holy Spirit entering the life of a believer when he receives Jesus as Lord and Savior and he is justified.

Paul is saying in Galatians 3:14 that when God declares a believer to be righteous, He also sends the Holy Spirit into his heart to produce righteousness in him.

It was after—and because of—the resurrection that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to abide in the hearts of believers.

The full significance of our justification—declared righteousness—then, may also be a realized righteousness because Jesus was raised from the dead.

Man’s declared righteousness and realized righteousness are two distinct—but inseparable—works of God.

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As a justified believer increasingly receives the filling of the Holy Spirit, more and more the righteousness of God fills his life—and all because of the resurrection of Jesus.