Sharing Christ with Muskegon & the World

Refreshment for Your Soul



What a tremendous blessing that God has granted to us. That simply by a receiving faith, by taking from God’s hand a generous gift, we have been justified. God has declared us to be righteous. 

Father, you have declared a verdict over me: JUSTIFIED.  

Not guilty. 

Innocent of all charges. 


For that is what JUSTIFIED means. It is language from the image of the court of law. It is a verdict given concerning us who believe in your Son. Thank you Father, for all of this. 

Because, shamefully, I am still someone who sins. 

Who still does evil. 

But you have changed my status, first and foremost with your performative word: 


And this has already happened to you, my friend. It is not something you are trying to make happen. Rather it has already happened, in the past. The verdict has already been rendered as it concerns you: HAVE BEEN. 



Friends, you can rest in this reality for it is already your reality. It is a gift. 

Not only that, but it is something in which you did not participate. You did not justify yourself. That would have been the thought if the verse were in the active voice. Rather the original language of this verse is in the passive voice. Therefore, it was something done to you by someone else. You were not the one acting. Rather someone else acted toward you. You received the action here. You were passive. God was active. God, and God alone worked your justification and gave it to you when you believed. 

Therefore, we see that our FAITH, our belief, that we exercised is to be understood as a faith that receives. It is not a faith that gives anything to God. But it is like an empty hand that receives a gift from God. 

What grace! 

What a call to remember what Christ has already done for us. 

What a call to rest

To rest in his finished cross work on our behalf. 

He worked. We receive. We rest. We enjoy. Let’s praise his wonderful grace today! 

Together with you in his grace,

Pastor Tom