Today, I would like to point out five facets or sides of justification. Understanding these items will helps us grasp this concept more firmly, fall in love with Jesus more passionately and thank God once again, wholeheartedly.
It might get a bit heavy, but stick with me and I promise this will be worth your time.
Here are five facets of justification:
1. Faith plays an instrumental role in justification. Yes, faith is a gift from God and a gift of God (Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29). But, the gift of God cannot be used as if it a product of man offered to a divine being in exchange for salvation. Faith is then instrumental but not foundational to the declarative act of justification. Simply put, we are justified through our faith not because of it. We as sinners are justified by the sacrifice of Christ alone, not by an act of believing in it. (Bonus — for those of you who are still reading, I would like to offer one more succinct definition of this first point, but you have to promise to hang in there with me: “Faith is the instrumental, not the procuring or meritorious cause of justification.”
2. The Justification of a sinner is exclusively found in Christ alone. Justification is not a synergistic effort between the work of Christ and the strain of man (Rom. 3:28).
3. The Justification of a sinner is instantaneous and complete. It is a single, one time, act of God that decidedly solidifies the believer as righteous and grants entrance into the territory of God’s grace (Rom. 5:2). There is no need of repeating this act as there is no need to repeat the atoning death of Christ upon which our justification rests (Heb. 9:24-28; 10:14).
4. Justification is unequivocally and singularly, an act of God. All of our sin(s) past, present and future are forgiven at the jubilant juncture of our justification. The totality of our sin, all of which is visible to God, are blotted out and covered over by one act of God. When we, as a justified people, commit sin, though our sin deserves eternal death, yet we are exonerated from the curse of it.
5. Justification is a means to an end. We are justified in order to be sanctified; not sanctified in order to be justified. Paul says that “Those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Rom. 8:30). When we are declared just in the sight of a Holy God, the life long process of sanctification begins. Our sense of forgiveness is accompanied with a hatred of sin and a thirst for righteousness. If the latter is absent, the former is counterfeit.
Trust in Jesus. Believe in Jesus. Put your Faith in Jesus. Find a deep-seated joy in Jesus. Revel in your contentment of Jesus. Thank God for the divine and declarative act of justification.
We are clothed in Christ’s righteousness and are justified. Jesus is saying to us right now: “Go, and from now on sin no more” (Jn. 8:11).
Question: What one facet of justification was unparalleled in potency to you and what made it appear this way?