WHEN IS A CHRISTIAN JUSTIFIED

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WHEN IS A CHRISTIAN JUSTIFIED

“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” {Acts 13:38-39}

WHAT IS JUSTIFICATION? WHAT DOES IT MEANS TO BE JUSTIFIED?

In short, justification means declaring justice and doing the right thing with God. Justification is that God declares that those who receive Christ are just because the righteousness of Christ is attributed to those who receive Him. Although justification can be found as a principle throughout the Scripture, the Scripture describes justification regarding believers in Romans 3: 21-26: ” But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

We are justified at the moment of our salvation. Justification does not make us just but declares us just . Our righteousness comes from believing in the accomplished work of Jesus Christ. His sacrifice covers our sin and allows God to see us as perfect and flawless. Because we are believers in Christ, God sees Christ’s own righteousness when he looks at us. This corresponds to God’s demands for perfection; he explains to us fairly: he justifies us.

Romans 5: 18-19 sums it up well: “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” By justification, God’s peace can reign in our lives. “Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5: 1). Justification can assure believers of redemption. It is after we are justified that God begins the work of sanctification in our life.

WHY DO WE HAVE TO BE JUSTIFIED?

Forgiveness is beautiful, but we need more than forgiveness. Suppose an only child of a Christian was murdered. The perpetrator might be forgiven, but would never feel comfortable in the presence of the child’s parent.

There would also be a court case. Although the parent of the victim might have forgiven the criminal, the criminal would still be charged for murder and brought to justice.

To be justified means that we are free from all charges brought against us. In Christ, we are justified of all things.

It is God’s idea to have his believers before him without a single thing hindering their joy in Christ.

WHO JUSTIFIES?

It is God Himself who justifies us. Nobody else could. It is against God whom we have sinned, and it is God who justifies us.

Our God is the great judge of the universe. We enter his court as guilty sinners who believe in Jesus. To our astonishment, we hear God say: “All who believes are justified by all things.” In a radical statement, God freed us from all charges against us. Since it is God Himself who justified us, who can bring charges against us? The Bible says: “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” (Romans 8:33)

WHAT IS THE BASIS OF OUR JUSTIFICATION?

The basis of our justification is God’s grace! God’s grace is the unlimited love of God that goes out to sinners and freely forgives them through redemption in Christ Jesus. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Romans 3:24

Notice the amazing way God justifies us. He justifies us freely. God is happy to free us from all charges and responsibilities. All charges against us are dropped entirely. All guilt is completely eliminated. God will not ask questions about the sins of the believer He had justified.

WHAT IS THE FOUNDATION FOR OUR JUSTIFICATION?

The foundation of our justification is the blood of Christ that has been shed for us. The Bible says: “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Romans 5: 9)

God’s righteousness is always against sin, but on the cross, God’s anger against sin fell on Christ, who bore our sins. Because Christ endured the full punishment of our sins, God can rightly forgive the believing sinner. The moment we believe in Jesus, God perfect all of Christ’s work in our lives.

What about the Old Testament believers who died before Christ came? The Old Testament believers were saved by believing that the Savior would come and die on the cross. We are saved when we look back at Christ’s death on the cross in faith.

God’s salvation remains the same. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus and his shed blood.

WHAT IS SAVING FAITH?

The saving faith is the faith that rests on the Word of God concerning Christ, who shed his blood on the cross of Calvary. Faith comes from carefully observing the exact statements of God’s deeds in his Word.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”(Romans 10:17)

Faith sees what Christ has done and is based on it. The Bible says: “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;” (1 Timothy 1:15). Has Christ completed the work he came to earth to do? Yes! At the cross, he cried: “It is finished!”

Christ’s work for us is perfect. God tells us what Christ did for us. By believing in God, we claim Christ and His work on the cross for ourselves.

We are not looking for Christ to do something to save us. He already has. But we have to do it personally. It is not enough to accept that Christ died for sinners but to believe in His death. The apostle Paul said: “…I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

According to Martin Luther, Christianity is a religion of personal pronouns. It is not “We are all sinners,” but “I am a sinner.” It is not “Jesus is the Redeemer,” but “Jesus is my Redeemer.” You are saved when you made it a personal matter

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4: 5) This is an amazing statement! God says here that he is the God who justifies the ungodly.

The word “evil” as used in the Bible, does not necessarily mean that a person is overtly evil. In the Bible, the word “evil” refers to anyone who lives without God’s grace. Those who are not saved are ungodly in the sense of the Bible. He may be a respectable and sincere person in the world, but if he never saw that he needed a Redeemer, and never came to Christ for forgiveness and lived his life separately from God, he is ungodly. 

We probably would have thought that God justifies good people even though he could occasionally save an ungodly person. This verse says that God justifies or considers the sinner, who believes in Jesus to be just.

Faith is the only principle, according to which a person is considered righteous by God. How does God do that? He does it according to the principle of belief: “His faith is counted as righteousness.” Throughout the Bible, faith is the only principle by which a person is considered righteous by God. There is no way to justify a person before God except by faith.

Abraham is called the father of faith. How was he justified in God’s eyes or seen as just? By faith! The Bible says, “…Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4: 3)

That also applies to us. If we believe in Jesus, our faith is counted for righteousness. God tells us of all the wonderful benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection. (See Romans 4: 19-25)

The Bible warns us of four ways that do not lead to justification.

We are not justified by our parents. It is a blessing to be a child of devout parents, but that will not justify us.

All of our good works don’t count at all in terms of justification. The Bible says: “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

God doesn’t trust our good works. It means that we offer our “good works” instead of trusting on the glorious work done by His Son on the cross.

Good work does not play a role in our justification, but is very important after our rescue. The Bible says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

We are not allowed to try to keep the law. The Bible says, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)

We are not saved by church membership or ordinances of any kind. Neither membership in the Church, nor baptism, the Lord’s Supper, nor any other ecclesiastical ordinance can justify a person in God’s eyes. The Bible says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…” (Titus 3: 5)

God has his own holy and just way of dealing with our sins: the blood of Jesus Christ, his son. In His blessed grace, God forgives all our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. The Bible says:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Ephesians 1: 7)

CONCLUSION

We are freely justified, not because of what we do for God, but because of what God on our behalf did through His Son. We should play the role of believing and receiving what God gives us through His grace.

In other words, justification is a gift. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). Grace simplifies that we are not working for salvation; We just get it as a gift. We receive the gift of everlasting life as soon as we believe in the Word of God regarding His Son Jesus Christ. The Bible says,

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2: 8-9)

God boasts of forgiveness! He boasts of mercy! He prides himself on justifying us with righteousness because of Christ’s great work of salvation. God says of himself, “… I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:24

Let us never forget that God, when we were ungodly, declared us just in his eyes when we put our faith in Christ. We are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

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