but if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? certainly not! [galatians 2:17]
some day, before the great white throne in heaven, we will be judged. books will be read and we will be judged for what is in them. john sees it this way in his vision from the Lord.
then i saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. and i saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. then another book was opened, which is the book of life. and the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. and the sea gave up the dead who were in it, death and hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. this is the second death, the lake of fire. and if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. [revelation 20:11-15]
so when all stand before the throne and give an account for the deeds they have done, who can stand? who has kept the whole law? the answer is no one! standing before this great throne, no one will be declared right based on their works or merit. because justification comes through the blood of Jesus Christ alone. and only in his blood can we be declared righteous.
but what would happen if we turned to Christ, followed him wholeheartedly, clinging to him for salvation, and then stood before that great white thrown and heard the verdict, “guilty!”? we would say, “but i’m covered by the blood of the lamb!” and we would hear again, “still guilty, the blood is only the beginning of justification.”
if that were true, Christ would be a servant to sin. Christ’s blood would partially cover, but our sin would have the last word on our verdict before the throne. and so this verse is pointing out that we can add nothing to the blood of Christ to make us right before God. nothing! if the law were added to the blood, no one could stand.
but thanks be to our infinitely wise and endlessly gracious God, who gave up his only Son, to live perfectly according to the law, to suffer and die as an innocent God-man, and to raise victoriously from the grave, showing his absolute authority over sin, death, and hell, and giving us right relationship with the Father.
thank you, Father, for your endless measures of grace and mercy lavished upon us. i praise you for your infinitely wise plan of salvation through your Son. help me to cling to him. help me to live out of the joy of being found in him, and stop my striving to be made righteous outside of his blood. thank you for your patience with me. amen.
now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. amen. [jude 24-25]
~ arwen eastman