The death and resurrection of Jesus has resulted in new life for us. This newness of life is the gift of God, in which we are called to walk [Romans 6:4].
- If anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION, old things have passed away, behold all things have become NEW [2 Corinthians 5:17].
We therefore are no longer under the bondage of Sin or under Law but are now called to live with our new spirit [Romans 7:6]. This is the promise of new life that is given to us as a free gift (taken from the Greek word ‘Zoe’ meaning ‘God’s abundant life’ [John 17:3]). As a part of salvation, the gift of Zoe or eternal life includes forgiveness of sins, redemption, righteousness, sanctification and justification. All this is just the beginning of eternal life, now we can begin to understand that ‘God is good’ and He enables us to live a spirit filled life through His Holy Spirit. In other words, the meaning of our bodies being the temple of God really comes to life when we understand that it is no longer ourselves but God who becomes the substance in our lives. We are the vessels/containers and God is the filling [2 Corinthians 4:7]. Isn’t that simply amazing…?
Forgiveness of sins
By His grace we have received forgiveness of sins [Ephesians 1:7]. We are no longer seeking freedom from Sin, we have already been given this freedom & liberty [2 Corinthians 3:17]. We should therefore stand fast in this liberty and not fall back under the yoke of bondage that was upon us before we knew Christ [Galatians 5:1]. In other words all our sins have already been forgiven, no longer are we slaves to Sin, God wants us to continue in his grace without sin, this is possible because of the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us.
Redemption means to have our sins paid for. This entitles us to an exchange of our sinful lives with a righteous life .The blood of Jesus earned us this redemption [Ephesians 1:7]. Moreover this is not a temporary phase or moment where we get to enjoy this redemption, rather our redemption is eternal [Hebrews 9:12]. This is really cool!
Christ became our righteousness and because of that we are made righteous as He is the propitiation for our sins [1 John 2:1]. This is the mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which has now been revealed and no longer remains a mystery [Romans 1:17]
- Whoever believes in Jesus is made righteous through faith [Romans 3:22].
Just as Abraham when he believed God, he was accounted as righteous [Genesis 15:6], the same way we are accounted as righteous by faith and not by any deeds.
This is very important to understand, that just as, through one man’s sin (sin of Adam) all of mankind was charged with Original sin and made sinners, so by one Man’s righteous act (crucifixion of Christ) all of those who believe in Jesus are made righteous [Romans 5:17].
The moment I saw this truth, immense joy abounded in my heart, because now I understood that I became righteous (past tense), because of what Christ did for me and I will not become righteous (future tense) because of what I am doing or will do. This took away the whole burden of trying to do acts of righteousness to please God. God is already pleased with me because of what Christ did. This is the fundamental difference from the Truth and what religion teaches us. Religion only preaches that you need to do good works to please God, whereas believers in Christ are accounted with God’s righteousness [2 Corinthians 5:21], [Philippians 3:9]. Christ did not come to bring religion in the world; instead He criticized the false and religious people (Pharisees & Scribes), who only showed their external deeds for praises, but their hearts were filled with deceit [Matthew 23:28]. Religion only takes us away from the heart of God. Instead we have a more magnificent life by accepting the gospel of Jesus. The righteousness of God dwells within our divine nature i.e. in our spirit. Therefore even though we may sin in the flesh, our spirit is unaffected and it is as righteous as Jesus is, right now seated in heaven [1 John 4:17]. This is an awesome and liberating truth.
Sanctification means to be set apart or to be made holy.
- By the offering of Jesus on the Cross, we have been sanctified or set apart [Hebrews 10:10]; no matter how sinful or unrighteous we were in our past [1 Corinthians 6:11].
A more simpler illustration would be e.g. the gold & silver that Israel took from Egypt before their Exodus [Exodus 12:35-36] was ordinary gold & silver, but later when Moses asked the people to contribute silver & gold for the articles of the tabernacle to be constructed, the Israelites used this gold & silver which they got from the Egyptians and once the tabernacle was set up, the articles were sanctified for use in the tabernacle. Here we see how ornaments of gold & silver were ordinary in the beginning but then became sanctified because God dwelt in the tabernacle. In the same way, God before dwelling within us (in His Holy Spirit) has made us sanctified because of our acceptance of Jesus in our lives [1 Corinthians 1:30]. Wow!
Because we are sanctified we are justified. An easy way to understand the meaning of justified is that it’s just-as-if–i-never-sinned. Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but the free gift as a result of Jesus’ death led us to becoming justified [Romans 5:16-18]. Although all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, yet by God’s grace we are given a free gift of being justified [Romans 3:23-24], [1 Corinthians 6:11]. It is important to understand that we do not become justified by our own efforts, by keeping the law or commandments, but instead this is a free gift and by faith we believe and receive this gift [Galatians 2:16].