JUSTIFICATION By Geoff Daniels
Admittedly, and without exception, people are guilty of wrongdoing against each other and against Almighty God. Wrongdoing is sin in any form and requires correction. First and foremost, each one must take responsibility for the sin committed and recognize their need of God’s forgiveness. God acts through the “justification” of the individual. The term justification means “to declare righteous,” and takes place when God declares that person as “just.”
God is just in His character and in His being. That is why God can declare and treat the “repentant sinner” free from the guilt and penalty of his or her sin because Jesus Christ, who was completely sinless, was “made sin for us.” The Bible states, “For our sake He [God] made Him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). This means God wipes the 'slate of our lives' clean when we trust Christ as our Savior and He accepts us “just as if we never sinned.”
Jesus told a parable of two men – one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector who went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee hypocritically sinful “thanked” God he was “not like other men,” rather than repenting of his sinful condition and receive God's forgiveness. On the other hand, the tax collector realizing his sinful state, repented and prayed asking “God to be merciful to me a sinner.” The Bible tells us that the tax collector went down to his house being justified” (Luke 18:9-14). Upon trusting Christ as our Savior, our sins are transferred to His account. And in turn, His righteousness is transferred to our account.