Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us . . . He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior (Titus 3:56).
The first verse of the stirring hymn, Complete in Thee, amplifies the concept of justification solely as a work of God.
Complete in Thee! no work of mine May take, dear Lord, the place of Thine; Thy blood hath pardon bought for me, And I am now complete in Thee.
As our text reveals, this work comes through His mercy and grace, and not by works of righteousness which we have done, for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified (Galatians 2:16), that no flesh should glory in His presence (I Corinthians 1:29).
The key to it all is tied up in the phrase, thy blood hath pardon bought for me, and this transaction cannot be overstated. Consider our state without it, for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us . . . being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him (Romans 5:8,9).
We could not have been redeemed by our own actions or the sacrifice of corruptible things, but only with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (I Peter 1:18,19). Only through the blood of His cross can we be reconciled to the Father (Colossians 1:20), our broken relationship with Him healed.
There will come a time, around the throne of the Lamb, when we will sing, Thou art worthy . . . for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation (Revelation 5:9).
In Him and through His blood, we are complete. JDM