To understand justification, we have to understand baptism.
To understand baptism first we have to understand our fallen spiritual position.
OUR FALLEN SPIRITUAL POSITION
a. We are under God’s CONDEMNATION. – Rom.5:18a; John 3:18b.
b. We are in BONDAGE OF CORRUPTION. – Rom.8:19-21.
c. We are residents of the KINGDOM OF SATAN. – Luke 4:5-7.
d. We are SPIRITUALLY DEAD in sins. – Eph.2:1b; Col.2:13a.
e. We “do NOT accept anything from the Spirit of God: we see it all as nonsense; it is BEYOND our UNDERSTANDING because it CAN ONLY be understood by the Spirit of God.” – 1 Cor.2:14 Emphasize mine.
To be able to receive the Spirit of God, FIRST we need new spiritual life.
This is sometimes called “Born Again.”
“And you, BEING DEAD in your trespasses … He has made you alive, … having forgiven you all trespasses.” – This resurrection/born again and forgiveness of sins/justification, takes place at baptism.
In our baptism, there is God’s part to do and our part to do.
God’s part to do in our baptism ALWAYS PRECEDES our water baptism.
This is the point, sometimes confusion comes in the understanding of baptism.
**GOD’S PART TO DO IN OUR BAPTISM IS THE FIRST STAGE OF OUR JUSTIFICATION/INITIAL JUSTIFICATION
GOD’S WORK IN OUR BAPTISM IN FINE DETAILS**
God JUSTIFIED us. – At our justification God has DECLARED us JUST and DECLARED us to be sons of God. – Rom.3:24; Rom.8:15.
God RE-CREATED us. – At our re-creation God MADE us SONS of God and NEW CREATIONS/BORN AGAIN by given us a new heart, given us a new spirit and God put His Spirit into us – Ez.36:26-27; 2 Cor.5:17; 1 Cor.3:16; 1 Cor.6:19.
GOD SANCTIFIED us. – At our sanctification God has completely washed us clean, made us holy (our spirit + soul). – 1 Cor.6:11; 1 Pet.2:9;
We may call it our first purgatory as God has completely washed us clean. – It was an instant event.
4. At our baptism God has:
a. delivered us from the power of darkness and taken us (our spirit + soul) up to heaven, – Col. 1:13; Eph.2:6.
b. baptized us into the body of Christ, – 1 Cor.12:13, 27.
c. from spiritual death, in Christ God made us spiritually alive, – 1 Cor.15:22; Eph.2:1.
d. made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, –Eph.2:6.
e. then God delivered us (our spirit + soul) back to earth as Christ’s ambassadors. – 2 Cor. 5:20.
All of the above works of God is an instant event, we don’t even realize it and in this work for three reasons we cannot even co-operated with the grace of God.
First reason: We are spiritually dead and we accept nothing from the Spirit of God. – This is our spiritual resurrection from spiritual death.
Second reason: Our initial justification and born again in our baptism is an instant event.
Third reason: The above work of God taken us to the state of grace.
Until we are in the state of grace we cannot do supernatural merit.
Meaning man does nothing and could do nothing, to enter the state of (initial) justification. – Because spiritually dead at the beginning and the end initially justified and born again, the whole process is an instant event.
In the sequence of the events, first God does His part in our Baptism, as the results; we are spiritually alive/born again, initially justified, and we are in the state of grace.
This is the point when God gives us His gift of faith and we are able to positively respond to it. – Because we are spiritually alive, initially justified, we are in the state of grace.
As we see above the necessity of God’s works in our baptism is absolute.
**Apart from God first does His part in our baptism we are spiritually dead and we “do NOT accept anything from the Spirit of God.” – 1 Cor.2:14. **
It is solely God’s work and always PRECEDES our water baptism.
This is the point, sometimes confusion comes in, because at this point we are born again, initially justified, we are in the state of grace and we are not yet water baptized.
Sometimes it is a great distance between God does his part in our baptism and we do our part in our water baptism.
If some reason we are not able to do our part of the baptism that doesn’t stop God to do His part of our baptism which gives us initial justification, spiritual resurrection/born again and puts us into the state of grace and if we die enables us to go to heaven. – And of course His part to do in our baptism, always PRECEDES our water baptism.
If we die the next minute after our baptism we go INSTANTLY back home to heaven.