Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Rom 5:1 [NASB77]).
The “identity ” message in this verse is in the word “justified.” Notice the verb tense–having been justified. This indicates action completed in the past. So, a person needs to know if this is actually true about her/himself. “Have I been justified?” one must cry out into the silent heavens.
“Justified” as it is used here means,”given a proper, legal standing.”
To explain the meaning I’ll offer this anecdote. Let’s suppose that you had been born in Canada, but recently had come to Mexico (Isla Mujeres) on a tourist visa. Your legal standing in Mexico would be “tourist.”
Now, if you decided to remain in Mexico, and applied for citizenship, and completed the requirements necessary for that status, you would be recognized by the Mexican government as a citizen with all legal privileges that pertain. You would be legally “justified,” just as if you had been born a Mexican citizen.
Did you stay with me through all those words? I hope so! I do so want you to UNDERSTAND. Basic understanding of Bible (New Covenant) facts is necessary to basic belief-system change, which is necessary for basic control of emotions, which is necessary for basic control of behavior.
Continuing with our “identity verse,” Paul informs us that the fact of being “justified” is brought about by “faith.” The meaning of faith here is a two-step activity. The Canadian must realize her/his present citizenship is inadequate for the desired new life in Mexico, and must let it go, or “repent” of it. Secondly, the repentant Canadian must choose to trust in the plan and promises of the Mexican constitution that makes available the status of Mexican citizenship.
In the same way, the soul looking to God for a new life, a new citizenship with its array of new opportunities, rewards and freedom from condemnation, must repent of an old identity and self-sufficiency, and choose to trust the plan and promises of the best heart that ever beat, the best tongue that ever spoke, the best eyes that ever cried over a lost lamb, the best hands that ever lifted a loved one out of a cold grave–the Lord Jesus.
Stay tuned-in for “identity-verse #3