Torrey - Man -5.3- The Extent of Justification

III. THE EXTENT OF JUSTIFICATION. Acts 13:39 RV — "And by him [Greek: in him] every one that believeth is justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."

First Proposition: In Christ every one that believes is justified from all things.

The whole account against the believer is wiped out. God has absolutely nothing He counts against the believer in Jesus Christ. (Compare to Romans 8:1, 33-34 RV — "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus .... Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that shall condemn? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.") 2 Corinthians 5:21 — "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Philippians 3:9 RV — "That I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God by (upon) faith."

Second Proposition: The believer is the recipient of "the righteousness of God in Christ. ' He has a righteousness not of his own, but a "righteousness which is of God upon faith. ' (Compare to Romans 3:21-22 — "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference.") There has been an absolute interchange of positions between Christ and the justified believer. Christ took our place, the place of the curse ( Galatians 3:13). He was made sin ( 2 Corinthians 5:21). God reckoned Him a sinner and dealt with Him as a sinner ( Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 27:46). And when we are justified we step into His place, the place of acceptance. We receive the righteousness of God in Him.

To be justified is more than to be forgiven. Forgiveness is negative, the putting away of sin. Justification is positive, the reckoning of positive and perfect righteousness to one. Jesus Christ is so united to the believer that God reckons our sins to Him. God sees us in Him and reckons us as righteous as He is. When Christ's work in us is completed, we will be in actual fact what we are already in God's reckoning. 1 John 3:2 — "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

But our present standing before God is absolutely perfect, though our present state may be far below this. John 17:23 — "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."

IV. THE TIME OF JUSTIFICATION. Acts 13:39 RV — "And by him every one that believeth is justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."

Proposition: In Christ every believer is justified from all things.

The moment a man believes in Christ, that moment he becomes united to Christ, and God reckons the righteousness of God to Him.