Human Nature In Four States

The State Of Grace†††† Ephesians 2:1-10

Obviously, the necessarily limited space for this article prohibits a thorough, exhaustive study of the believerís life in Christ in their present state of grace. I am, however, more severely limited by my lack of ability. I state this because I want you to know, from the outset, that when you have finished reading this brief article, the subject matter will, by no means, be exhausted. Allow me to simply show you four things which describe the state and condition of all Godís elect, once they are born of God, once they are called and granted life and faith in Christ.

Forgiven

Believers are forgiven of all sin, forever (Rom. 4:8; Eph. 1:3-6) It is not our faith in Christ that secures our forgiveness, but the Fatherís decree from eternity, and the Sonís blood atonement at Calvary. God the Father looked upon his elect in Christ from eternity as a people for whom ransom was made, justly forgiven, by the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). As such, we were and are from eternity ďaccepted in the beloved.Ē All the sins of Godís elect were imputed to the Lord Jesus Christ when he died as our Substitute at Calvary. He, being made sin for us, was punished for our sins to the full satisfaction of Godís infinite justice. Justice, being satisfied by his blood, has put away our sins, expunged them from the record books of heaven, and they are no more (Jer. 50:20). Therefore, God will not, and cannot in justice, impute any sin to those for whom Christ died. Forgiven - What a blessed word of grace!

Justified

In Christ all who believe are justified before God by the imputed righteousness of Christ (Rom. 4:6-8, 25; 5:1-2; 6-10, 18-19). Just as our sins were imputed to and charged against the Lord Jesus Christ, so that our sins became his, our debt became his, and our guilt became his before Godís holy law, so his righteousness has been imputed to all his people by an act of sovereign grace and strict justice. It is an act of Godís sovereign grace, because he chose to do it, and because we do nothing to merit it for ourselves. Christís righteousness is imputed to us ďwithout (our) works.Ē It is an act of strict, unbending justice, because Christ our Substitute has earned it for us by his obedience unto God in our room and stead.

Sanctified

Every believer is also sanctified by the grace of God. We are sanctified in Christ by imparted righteousness. It is true, Godís elect were sanctified in his elected love from eternity (Jude 1), and sanctified by Christís blood when atonement was made for our sin (Heb. 9:10-14). However, we are also sanctified in this present life in this state of grace, by having the righteousness of Christ imparted to us in the new birth. Believers are a people who have been made partakers of the divine nature (1 Pet. 1:2-4). In the new birth, the Holy Spirit infuses into chosen, redeemed sinners a holy, righteous nature, a principle of grace called, ďChrist in you, the hope of gloryĒ (Col. 1:27). He does not make the old heart new. He gives us a new heart. He does not improve our old nature. He gives us a new nature. He does not repair the old man. He creates a new man.

Warring

The believer, so long as he lives in this tabernacle of clay, is a person at war with himself (Rom. 7:14-24; Gal. 5:17-23; 1 John 3:5-10). Like David of old, Godís elect are often compelled to confess, ďSo foolish was I and ignorant: I was as a beast before theeĒ (Psa. 73:22). Nevertheless, our God is still our God. ďThe foundation of God standeth sure.Ē When our heart and our flesh fail, God does not. He will yet guide us with his counsel, and afterward receive us up to glory.

God is not done with us yet. There is another state of man described in the Inspired Book. You who perish without Christ shall remain in your present state of corruption, depravity, sin, and turmoil forever. Hell is a place of blackness, corruption, darkness, depravity, sin, and indescribable torment. The worm of memory will eat at you forever. The fires of your unbridled, but completely unsatisfied, lusts and ever accusing conscience will never cease! But every believer, every chosen, redeemed, called sinner, forgiven, justified, sanctified, now at war with himself, shall soon escape all the consequences of sin. The children of God shall forever dwell with Christ in glory.

Don Fortner