What we believe will determine how we live. This is why this week, I would like to introduce to you a short series on the doctrine of justification.
The aim of this series is for us to fall in love with Jesus more passionately, pursue holiness more fervently and be grateful to God more frequently — because of the doctrine of justification.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul declares this good news regarding justification:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1)
Justification is simply a restoration of a person to a state of righteousness. Justification is not a process but an event. It is a moment in a persons life when they are declared justified by a Holy God before a Holy God.This declarative act is demonstrated when we put our faith in the person and work of Jesus.
We are declared just by believing in what Jesus has done for us, in spite of us. We are announced as having fulfilled all of the requirements of the law of God.
Here are five observations that can be made regarding the restorative nature of justification:
1. We are made compatible with a current norm that is requisite of us if we are to stand before a Holy and Righteous God.
2. We are confirmed to the standard required for a relationship with God.
3. We are cleared from judgment and are acquitted of all charges brought against us because of our sin.
4. We are conveyed as right before God on the basis of the atoning death of Christ on the cross
5. We are considered by God as if we have never sinned. God does not look at us as we are. God looks at us as Christ is — pure, holy and righteous.
We must understand that:
- Justification is a gift of God and a gift from God (Rom. 6:23). We did nothing to deserve it.
- Justification is not the reason for our salvation but rather the channel through which we receive salvation.
- Justification inevitably leads to a new nature (Eph. 2:10).
If we are united with Christ, we will not want to live according to the flesh. When we are justified, we begin to hate sin. Something that brought us pleasure before now repulses us.
The punishment for our sin is annulled eternally but we will still experience the effect of sin practically.
The good news is two-fold:
1. We are declared innocent and do not have to bear the punishment of sin (Jn. 3:16).
2. We obtain an eternal life through our faith in Jesus (Jn. 1:12; Eph. 1:5).
Question: What one specific thing concerning justification do you delight in the most?