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JUSTIFICATION

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.

Justification originates in God’s grace, and only through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross for salvation. Paul points this out in his letter to the Christians at Rome by stating, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:23-25). The word “propitiation” means that God has provided the one and only means by which His anger and displeasure against sinners can be appeased and sinful man can thus be reconciled to Him. Christ Himself is the propitiation and His shed blood on the cross is payment in full for our sins.

Paul also writes concerning the rewards of justification. “Those whom He [God] predestinated He also called and those He called He also justified and those whom He justified He also glorified.” Paul then explains the “security” of believers. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” … “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:30,35,38-39). We can see from Paul’s explanation that justification is crucial to the Christian life and is through faith alone and not on the basis of works, but on what Jesus accomplished for us as noted earlier; “one is justified by faith apart from the works of the law” (Romans 3:28).

Therefore, we can conclude that our "eternal security" rests on God’s justification, resulting from the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, “who was delivered on account of our offenses [or sins] and raised on account of our justification” (Romans 4:25), being solely an act of divine grace. Paul also records the results of justification in these verses, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1,2). On the cross Christ justified us by declaring us not guilty of our sins any longer so we can enjoy peace with God, and “access into an indescribable position of favor with God. We are accepted in the Beloved One; therefore we are near and dear to God as His own Beloved Son“ (Believer’s Bible Commentary, p. 1695). What a glorious position to be in, having been accepted by God in Christ Jesus.

Are you enjoying peace with God? Are you "justified?" The only way you can is to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, and then you will be “justified and declared righteous” by God and be on your way to heaven.

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