Have you ever done anything in your past that you were ashamed about, guilty about or feel condemned at times?
The bible is very clear and precise about this issue. For believers in Jesus, our sins have been dealt with.
Acts 13:39 “and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
In this verse, Paul was preaching to a crowd in a place called Antioch in Pisidia and he said that through Jesus, everyone who believes is justified from all things.
He was saying – By Him – Through Jesus, everyone who believes, is justified from all things.
So we must understand the word “Justified” to understand what Paul was trying to preach. So the word, “Justified” means “To be made righteous”.
This means that if you committed sins, then if you believe, you were “Justified” or “Made righteous” through Jesus.
But it continues —– “FROM ALL THINGS” – Acts 13:39
So put it this way —–You have been made righteous from all your past sins through Jesus. Through Jesus?
In a court of Law, if you committed a crime, you would have to be punished.
WE HAVE ALL COMMITTED CRIMES AGAINST GOD BY OUR SINS AND SHOULD BE PUNISHED WITH DEATH. BUT THIS VERSE SAYS THROUGH JESUS.
INSTEAD OF US DYING ON THAT CROSS, JESUS TOOK OUR PLACE AND DIED INSTEAD OF US. HIS LIFE AND HIS BLOOD WAS OUR SUBSTITUTE. HE TOOK OUR PUNISHMENT AND SO THROUGH HIM, WE HAVE BEEN MADE RIGHTEOUS FROM ALL THINGS.
At the same time, we believed, we were justified from all sins by Jesus. THAT IS WHAT IT MEANS THAT WE WERE GIVEN THE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS – ROMANS 5:17. Nothing we did earned our righteousness. It was gifted to us when Jesus took our place on that cross.
So we have been justified from all things. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Problem – A king in Prison
This truth is very important to us as sons and daughters of God (Romans 8:15-17). It allows us to walk in the authority and power as Children of God and Joint heirs with Jesus.
If you have received Jesus, then you are a son or daughter of God, a king (Revelations 1:6) with great authority. The problem is that if you still feel ashamed, guilty or condemned about your past, then you are stuck in a prison of shame, guilt and condemnation (Hosea 4:6).
The devil is known as the accuser of the brethren – Rev 12:10-11. The devil is an expert legalist. He will try to look for ways to convince you that you have committed a crime or crimes in your past.
The Spiritual Reality Of Our Justification – Zechariah 3:1-5
The devil or satan is standing against Joshua and God to accuse Joshua. Your No.1 enemy is not a Muslim extremist or a rapist or some murderer. Your No.1 enemy is the devil himself. He stands against us and accuses our lives before God.
He is always pointing out the sins and failures of your past. His ultimate goal is to condemn you, make you fell all guilty and finally to shame you.
Joshua’s filthy garments were a result of sin but this was made worse by the devil’s accusations.
Let’s examine the work of Christ in Justifying us:
- He removed the filth of your past (Verse 1-4).
Our past can very heavy. There is such a freedom when you know that Jesus has removed your sins far away and you are now righteous.
- He clothed you with his RICH robes (Verse 4).
To be clothed is a sign of acceptance. He accepted us and gave us His authority to do His will in the Earth. Notice that it says “rich” robes. The robes of Christ are “rich”. They are the robes of Righteousness and Authority.
Romans 13:14 says to be clothed with Jesus Christ.
- He cleansed you (Verse 5)
Clean Turban – Is mentioned twice so very important…similar to when Jesus says in the gospels “Verily, verily, I say unto you”… Covers your mind with his grace and peace. Not to be condemned and shamed any longer by the voice of the devil. It’s clean. It’s washed by the Blood of Jesus.
The mind is a battlefield. So we must discipline our minds to stick to God’s promises. Don’t allow worry, fear and the devils accusations to shame you.
- His Presence is with you (Verse 5)
The Angel of the Lord stood by. When God clothes you, he stands with you. His angels are ready to move as you walk in your new God given authority.
So we are justified from all things. How should we live now as Justified people, walking in new Authority?
This lady was a prostitute. She was condemned by Simon the Pharisee. She carried shame, guilt and condemnation. She was so desperate for Jesus forgiveness (Justification) that she gave the best she could give for Jesus.
Tears – “The eyes are the windows to the soul but tears are the language of the heart”.
Perfume and her hair – speaks of her commitment to follow Jesus for the rest of her life. A prostitute’s hair is one of the main tools of her trade. Her hair was used to attract her clients to commit sexual immorality. But when she met Jesus, she surrendered her hair. Hair represents her trade – To Jesus.
Jesus forgave her. The most important thing in our life is not all our wealth or even our heath. It is being forgiven of our sins by God.
How do we live after being Justified from all things including our sins? With appreciation. By living for Jesus.
Jesus said in Luke 7:47 “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
Past, Present and Future
Someone asked me, “Pastor, how about people who commit sins after they become believers? What happens to their sins?”
That was a good question.
The justification of Christ deals with our past, present and future sins. However, the teaching about Justification mentioned above dealt with our past sins before we met Christ. After we become Christians, then we still need to repent and confess our sins to God who will forgive us and cleanse us (1 John 1:9). That’s when we are justified in the Present.
But there are cases when a person refuses to repent and continues in their sin or even hardens their heart. What happens in these cases?
Like a good Father, God will discipline his children according to Hebrews 12:3-11, especially in cases where his children live in rebellion against him. He is very patient and can take us through the discipline process at His own pace until we repent and turn back to him in humility and surrender.
Psalms 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.”