“You stand before God as if you were Christ, because Christ stood before God as if He were you.” – Charles Spurgeon
A. W. Tozer: “When God justifies a sinner, everything in God is on the sinner’s side. All the attributes of God are on the sinner’s side. It isn’t that mercy is pleading for the sinner and justice is trying to beat him to death. All of God does all that God does.” Attributes of God
“As our past increases and our future shrinks, however, our minds tend to start looking backward rather than forward. In some ways that’s natural and normal since there’s more to look back on than to look forward to. It can be good for us too; the past can be a source of tremendous joy and thankfulness as we reflect on the mercies we have received and enjoyed from God’s good hand. But that lingering backward look can also cause deep pain and even despair as we ponder bad decisions, bad choices, and bad relationships.” -David Murray, The Happy Christian
BTW NOTE: I often preach the imputed righteousness of Christ as a salve for the person struggling with regret. We look back and see failures, and are filled with shame. But in Christ, God looks ‘back’ at our life and only sees the righteousness of Christ and is well-pleased. In Christ, our past is no longer a thing to rationalize or defend or explain away or ignore. It’s covered with the righteousness of Another. That can give peace to a hurting heart.
BTW NOTE1: This is why the proclamation of grace in Christ–that God knows everything about us, even the very worst, yet accepts us completely because of Christ’s person and work– is a message that will resonate with millennials.
BTW NOTE2: The article also has some interesting insights on social media’s ability to spark feeling of inferiority in people (so social media becomes like the Law), and also has some fascinating stats related to worry and anxiety.
This is a horrible story, but one that illustrates that the doctrine of justification (and all the practical issues of acceptance and approval that are related to it) is very much a live and meaningful topic even in a rapidly secularizing culture like ours.
“Under the words ‘remission of sins’ by a synecdoche are comprehended all heavenly benedictions: justification, adoption, glory…” -Thomas Watson