- In myself, I am guilty, nothing but sin and helpless to change.
- In Christ, I am justified by His blood and righteousness alone.
- Because I am no more condemned, because Christ is my deliverer from sin in all its consequences, I am compelled by grace to go and sin no more
- Christ is my Advocate when I sin.
- I wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
As I meditate on the word of God in the experience of this life of faith, I retread these five truths over and over again.
First there's nothing in me and there never will be anything in me that can quiet my conscience, comfort me with a real and solid peace or give me confidence before God. My past is failure. My present is corruption and weakness. My future holds no promise from anything I am or anything I will yet become.
My conscience bears witness to this with God's word. Genesis 6:5; Psalm 14:2-3; Psalm 39:5; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:9-19; 7:24; Philippians 3:7-11.
Second, my condition is such that I must be saved by the free and omnipotent grace of God. Grace is found in one place alone: in Christ. In Christ I am justified. In Christ I am sanctified. In Christ I am perfected; I am made holy. 1 Corinthians 1:30; Hebrews 1:3;10:10,14; Ephesians 1:3-7; Romans 8:34. He is the last Adam, the Head of the church. God made His covenant with Him for His people in Him. His obedient life and His offering of Himself to God for my sins in death is the basis of all my coming and calling and hoping.
Third, I am taught by the grace of God in Christ to sin no more. Do you find it so in scripture and in your experience from the "stress of the new nature?" Does the same "neither do I condemn thee" that so comforts you, also exhort you to "go and sin no more" (John 8:11)? And is it not on the basis of being in Christ and because He is our Deliverer that sin will not have dominion over all who thus live in Him and live under that grace (Romans 6:14)? Let me then go to Him with this confidence, this promise and this hope, that He will subdue all my iniquities. Let me rejoice in His deliverance with all who put their trust in Him. Psalm 5:10; Psalm 39:8; Psalm 119:133; Micah 7:18-20; Romans 6:6,11-12,14; 1 John 2:1.
Fourth, the faith that first led me to look to Christ who took my place before God, still teaches me that Christ is my Advocate and my Answer to all God requires of me in His law and justice. Before God and in my conscience by faith, He answers now for me by His blood and righteousness. In my life, He is the One I look to as my Answer for every need of grace and in every failure. He's the One I trust will answer every claim and accusation in Judgment. Christ is my Advocate. I began to live when He gave me this faith that looks to Him and pleads, "Lord, be my Answer, answer all for me." I live now looking to Him. By the word of God I believe that He will yet answer for me in Judgment and will forever by my Answer, my Advocate, in Himself, having died and put away my sin and done all to establish my righteousness. John 8:11; 1 John 2:2; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25.
Fifth, by the Spirit of Christ giving me faith in Him, I now wait for the hope of righteousness. I don't experience what my God-given faith sees I possess by the gospel of Christ. Sin is with me (Romans 7:24). Unbelief afflicts me. If I now had what I hoped for, I would have no need to hope for it any longer (Romans 8:24-25). But I abandon as repugnant everything men consider righteousness and everything I am tempted to trust as righteousness, and I to lay hold by faith on what Christ has done for me all by Himself. To be found in Him is my one desire and my repose. He has finished all my salvation and in Him it is perfect in every way. In Him, I have all. This hope teaches me that one day I shall be satisfied when I awake in His likeness. (Psalm 17:15)
Though I am a sinner, though my nature is nothing but sin, yet Christ is my Advocate. He stood up for me before the world was made when He agreed to take my sin, pay my debt, bear my load and meet all God's requirements for me. He stood up for me at the cross when He actually took my sin and made it His own, bearing my burden, paying my debt to God in my place. He commands me to sin no more, yet He stands even now as my Advocate when I do sin. (1 John 2:1-2). I long to be free from sin, but I will never be more than what I am in Him until the day of my redemption. While I walk by faith, I possess no more than what He says in His word that I have in Him (1 Corinthians 1:30; Colossians 2;9-10). I look to His blood and to His righteousness, and cry to Him for grace to free me from sin's dominion (Psalm 39:8; Psalm 119:133; Romans 6:14; Jeremiah 17:14; Romans 7:25). Yet I walk by faith, and by His Spirit, by this same God-given faith in Christ, I wait for the hope of righteousness (Galatians 5:5).
Great Redeemer, extend the border of your garment over me; cover me with your righteousness, cleanse me by your blood (Ruth 3:9; 1 John 1:7). Give me to know by faith that you have done the part of a kinsman Redeemer for my soul, and will therefore redeem me from all iniquity (Titus 2:14).