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As human beings we want to be justified; we want to feel acquitted.  For instance, how many people justify their decision to eat fatty foods with, "I worked out today"?  I have heard it said many, many times.

To be honest, there is no way a human can be totally justified - except for one.

First, before we can go any farther, we must agree that humans are sinful beings.  If you need help understanding this, then read Genesis 3.  We are sinful.  Period.  And because of sin, we are condemned (John 3:18).  But the beauty is that once we are saved, we are completely justified and set free!

In Romans 8:1-2, Paul writes: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death."  When we are saved by Jesus, we are set free.  But from what?

Romans 6 answers this very question.  Once we realize we are human beings (whatever age that may be), we are immediately slaves to sin.  We can do nothing good by our own merit.  We work in sin, and the wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23).  But when Jesus saves us, we are no longer condemned, but set free - no longer to be bound by mastery of sin or the power of the grave!

But why?  Why are we set free?

In Ephesians 2:10, Paul writes: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (at salvation) for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."  After we are set free from the slavery of sin, we are now free to do good works.

But why were we set free to do good works?

Jesus says in Matthew 5:16, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven."  The purpose of good works is to glorify the Father in Heaven!

Recap: everything from salvation to good works is brought about by God Himself.  We didn't have to do anything to become slaves to sin except for be born (and even then we didn't have much choice in the matter).  Once slaves to sin, however, Jesus sets us free to do good works so that we can bring glory to our Father in Heaven.

Wow!  What a simple, yet fantastic picture of buyback and redemption!  God hates sin, but praise Him that He sent Jesus to atone for our sins and lead us out of captivity, just as Moses did the Israelites who were once slaves in Egypt.

Be encouraged, if you are saved, to live free from sin and do good works!  That is our sole purpose: to bring glory to our Father who is in Heaven.

If you have examined yourself and find yourself to not be saved, then surrender (give yourself up) to God so that you to may bring the Father glory.  Remember: it's not about you.

To God be the glory!