Grace + Forgiveness

What is justification?

know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. Galatians 2:16

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile. Romans 3:21-22

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

Justification is the gracious act of God where he declares believers not guilty, but in right standing with him because of Jesus.

Throughout history, Christians have sometimes used big, unfamiliar words to say things about God, ourselves, and the world. 

Today, we’re going to look at one of those words: Justification. 

The word justification in the Bible is translated from the Greek word dikaiosis. It was a word typically used in a law court setting. When someone stands before a judge, they wait to receive a verdict of either guilty or not guilty. If the judge declares them to be not guilty, then they are justified. But, if the judge declares them to be guilty, then they are condemned. When New Testament authors like Paul and Luke write about justification in their books, they are talking about how we can be declared not guilty by God even though we have sinned.

The Bible says dozens and dozens of times that each of us have sinned and been separated from God. God is perfect, and because our sin has tainted or stained us, it’s impossible for us to be in his presence and live. But because of God’s great love for us, he sent Jesus to take on our imperfections as his own and to pay the price for our sin. Through this incredible act of love, humans can now be made right with God.

How does that happen? 

God offers a righteousness that is separate from any of our efforts to work for it. That’s what God offers in his Son for everyone who believes. It’s a gift from God!

Through Jesus, you have been justified. You have been made right with God.

Spend a few moments today asking God to search your heart and show you the areas that haven’t been made right with him. Then, thank him for the free gift of his Son, Jesus.

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