Human Helplessness

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Being justified gratuitously in His grace, through the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus (Whom God purposed for a Propitiatory shelter, through faith in His blood, for a display of His righteousness because of the passing over of the penalties of sins which occurred before in the forbearance of God), toward the display of His righteousness in the current era, for Him to be just and a Justifier of the one who is of the faith of Jesus. Where, then, is boasting? It is debarred! (Romans 3:25, Concordant Literal Version).

Notice here the succession of terms indicative of human helplessness:

Being justified — requiring to be made right with God;
gratuitously — without a cause, without anything in oneself that would give God reason for doing this;
in His grace — purely as a favor, unearned, undeserved;
through the deliverance — requiring a rescue act;
which is in Christ Jesus, Whom God purposed — not in oneself, but in the One Whom God appointed.

This is the first occasion in Scripture that any act of God is referenced to His purpose, and the next outstanding fact that we must note is that it is centered in “Christ Jesus” – not in “Jesus Christ” as He was on earth, but in “Christ Jesus,” the risen Lord, the One Who, by His victory over death and His resurrection from the tomb, has proved that He has settled once and for all time the problem of sin, and thereby paved the way for deliverance.

John H. Essex (1907-1991)
The Purpose of God
Select Writings of John Essex – Volume 1
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[Editor:] For a further look at the difference between “Jesus Christ” and “Christ Jesus,” see Bible Student’s Notebook #325: “Christ Jesus,” Charles H. Welch; “Christ Jesus” and “Jesus Christ,” A.E. Knoch; “The Names of Jesus,” E.W. Bullinger.

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