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
“Thank You for the blessed truth of justification. Help me to be able to verbalize these glorious truths and doctrines and cling, not to them, but to Jesus.”
That was a prayer I scribbled down during last Sunday’s sermon on justification. I want to not just hear these awesome theological truths but also be able to share them with others when God allows. So, to practice, I’m going to write some of the little nuggets of truth here.
This isn’t a typical blog for me, but this doctrine is so foundational for every believer’s life I thought it necessary to recap. And, every time I rehearse it (which is often because I am so performance-oriented), it shifts my focus from myself back to Christ and His perfect work.
Doctrine of Justification = God declares us righteous through the satisfactory and substitutionary work of Jesus on the cross
Just reading that humbles my heart and makes it warm with thankfulness, because I know I could never become righteous by my own merit (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 59:2, Isaiah 64:6). However, if you keep digging into the doctrine of justification your heart will continue to swell as you see God’s love and mercy displayed to us through Jesus.
- Justification is the pardon of sins
- “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.” -Colossians 2:13-14
- Justification is the gift of righteousness
“And to the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”” -Romans 4:5-8
1. The refusal to impute your sins to your standing (see above verses)
2. The imputation of the perfect obedience of Christ to your standing
- Justification is God’s acceptance of Christ given to the sinner
- “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.” -Romans 5:9-10
Do you get all of that? Nothing is dependent on us. Our salvation, our sanctification, our glorification, our standing with God, His acceptance of us–nothing is dependent on us. It’s all dependent on God and He accepts His children because He accepted Christ and our lives are hidden with Him (Colossians 3:3).
Justification tells me I don’t have to constantly strive for the approval of God by performing for Him, because nothing I do can make Him love me any more and nothing I do can make Him love me any less. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Praise God for the Gospel and the blessed doctrine of justification!
How is justification possible?
“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
Jesus, the Son of God, didn’t just die on a cross, He literally became sin. He became sin so we could have a way to God and so that God could justly impute Jesus’ righteousness to our account and we could have fellowship with Him. This is one of those things that sounds too good to be true, but really is true. And it’s worth staking your whole life on.