Justification, Regeneration, and Adoption

Justification. Regeneration. Adoption. Power-packed words. Words that are full of God’s unfathomable love and grace. May these scriptures and reflections deepen your relationship with God.

Monday – Romans 4.1-4. The question of how we may be justified before God is of most importance to all of us. It is not being made actually just and righteous. That is sanctification, which is the fruit of justification. Justification is what God has done for us through His Son; sanctification is what He works in us by His Spirit. Justification means simply the forgiveness of our sins by God the Father for the sake of the sacrifice of His Son. “There can be no justification without faith, and faith is the only condition which is necessary” (John Wesley, Sermons).

Tuesday – Romans 5.8-11. Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, strongly reminds us of the source of our justification. “I am not saved by believing— I simply realize I am saved by believing. And it is not repentance that saves me— repentance is only the sign that I realize what God has done through Christ Jesus. The danger here is putting the emphasis on the effect, instead of on the cause. Is it my obedience, consecration, and dedication that make me right with God? It is never that! I am made right with God because, prior to all of that, Christ died.”

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 5. 17-19. Who makes our justification possible? Our efforts? Again, Oswald Chambers is instructive: “The salvation that comes from God is not based on human logic, but on the sacrificial death of Jesus. We can be born again (regenerated) solely because of the atonement of our Lord. Sinful men and women can be changed into new creations, not through their repentance or their belief, but through the wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus which preceded all of our experience.”

Thursday – John 1.10-13. “We believe that regeneration, or the new birth, is that gracious work of God whereby the moral nature of the repentant believer is spiritually quickened and given a distinctively spiritual life, capable of faith, love, and obedience” (Articles of Faith, Manual, Church of the Nazarene). In describing what takes place in our new birth in Christ, we are recipients of a gracious work of God. What has been a favorite gift that you’ve received from another? Does it compare with the grace of God that’s given you a new life through Jesus?

Friday – Ephesians 2.4-10. We need an understanding of justification by faith alone. Without it, we cannot truly perceive the glorious gift of grace— and God’s unmerited favor becomes merited in our minds. We begin to think we deserve salvation. Holding to justification by faith keeps us from falling for the lie that we can earn heaven. There is no ritual, no sacrament, no deed that can make us worthy of the righteousness of Christ. It is only by His grace, in response to our faith, that God has credited to us the holiness of His Son.

Saturday – Galatians 4.4-7. Abba is an Aramaic word of endearment, of intimacy. It’s similar to Dad or Papa, or may be best translated, Dear Father. Imagine that! The Creator, the Almighty God is your dear Father, because you’ve been adopted as a son or daughter. This adoption is not cheap. Adoption was, for God, costly. To redeem means to obtain or to set free by paying a price. What was the price that God paid for our liberation and adoption? It cost God the price of His Son’s life. That’s costly grace. Your adoption fees have been paid!