Do You Have The Verdict of the Last Judgment? – by Desmond Ford
Oct 30, 2015 1861
If we understand the message of Romans, we will be filled with all joy and peace in believing and one of the reasons is because we have in our pocket the verdict of the last judgment. That is not bad, is it?
That’s what the word ‘justification’ means. It means you have the verdict of the last judgment now. Justification does not mean to make us righteous inside out. Once you come out of the baptismal pool you will still have to fight bad temper, lust, gluttony, anger and all the rest. Justify does not mean make us internally righteous, it means to ‘declare’ us righteous.
Remember those famous words that the Christian is simul iustus et pecattor – simultaneously righteous and a sinner. In ourselves always sinner; in Christ always righteous. That is the good news, that I with all my faults and failings, am righteous in Christ, even though I may be an imperfect husband, imperfect father, imperfect minister, in fact, an imperfect everything, except I am a perfect sinner.
I am counted righteous and I can never be lost while looking to Jesus
However, despite all that, because I have found Christ and I have turned my back on the old life and despite many a stumbling, I am counted righteous and I can never be lost while looking to Jesus despite a thousand falls a day.
The Christian hates sin, flees from sin, and looks to Jesus but there are still many a stumble, dear friends. Some day compare the description of the Christian in John Bunyan’s book Pilgrim’s Progress with what you read in a lot of religious pap sold in the book stores. The book stores will tell you that once you become a Christian, then there are no more problems, everything is solved, you don’t have to fight temptation, you’ve won over it, you have no problem now, it’s all under your feet, it’s a great life and everything is going tio go your way. That is not true.
A walk is a continually interrupted stumbling…
Simul iustus et peccator – the Christian is simultaneously righteous and a sinner. I still have a sinful nature though God has come and given me a new nature that dominates the old, moment by moment as I look to Jesus. Remember we are called to the Christian walk and a walk is a continually interrupted stumbling. James 2:3 reminds us that, “In many things we all offend.” In many things all of us offend but I have the verdict of the last judgment. God has declared me righteous. I can see that the truth at the cross. Christ was made what he was not, and he was treated as though he were a sinner – why? So that I who am a sinner can be treated as though I am righteous. That is the message of Romans, dear friends.
– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32. Adapted from, “The News That Shook The World – Part 1.”