Justified: Our Slate Wiped Completely Clean!
The two images tell a story of anguish and forgiveness. The parents of a young man who had been killed in a street fight stop the execution of the convicted killer tin April of 2014 — mere seconds before he was to be hung in front of a large crowd.
It took place in Iran, where hangings are still accepted as a form of public execution. The news agency ISNA identifies the man who was to be hanged as Balal. In 2007, at the age of 19, he killed 17-year-old Abdollah Hosseinzadeh, ISNA reported. As he was about to be executed, the Mother of the victim came and publicly forgave her son’s killer. You will notice her in the photo on the right. She forgave the one that killed her son.
This is what God does to each person that seek Him for salvation. God forgives us completely and allows us to live in Heaven with him. He then justifies the new Believer and frees him from the guilt and punishment of his sins.
Job 9:2 asks a thought-provoking question, “I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?” How can a person really be justified before a holy God? Such a question deserves a great answer from God. This is the question the Apostle Paul writes from the city of Corinth as he was writing to those at Rome around the time of A.D. 57-58. Paul would soon be going to Rome to teach on the great doctrines of glorious grace of God and how man could be justified to God.
Moving forward now to Romans 3:21-31, we read where the Paul had uncovered every man for what he is: A Sinner that has been found guilty, and under the sentence of Divine judgment (Romans 3:19, 23). During the first part of Romans, Paul in no uncertain terms reminded fallen and sinful man, that each one were deserving of God’s punishment and likewise deserving of eternal separation from God. The same is true of every person today.
This tragic truth of man’s inherent sin nature that had been received from Adam (Romans 5:12), relates to the whole world because there is “no partiality” with God (Romans 2:11).
Paul further exposed the moral man who thought that God would accept him on the basis of his morality. He continued to render those that had never heard the Gospel as likewise guilty before. God.
Paul then changed his focus to tell sinful man that although he could do nothing to save himself from this Divine sentence, that there was still hope of his going to Heaven when he died.
The theological word Paul used was justification. Once you understand this word, it will likely become one of your favorite doctrinal words. The word in its true theological form means, “The gracious act of God whereby He declares righteous those that place their absolute faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and then frees them from the Guilt and Punishment of their sin.”
What Exactly is Justification?
1. Justification is an Act and not a Process. There are not any degrees of justification as there are in the Christian’s growth process. Because of this understanding, no one is any more justified than another. God sees each Christian (The Christian’s Position in Christ), as He sees His only Son, Jesus Christ. God is able to declare man righteous only as a result of God’s provision through the substitutionary death and shed blood of Jesus Christ.
What does this mean? First it means that you were justified or declared righteous before God the moment you received Jesus Christ as your only hope of Heaven. Instantly you were given a righteous standing before God because of Jesus Christ. No amount of self-effort or morality could ever produce this standing before God by sinful man. We are incapable of justifying ourselves; rather it is God that justifies us.
2. No Believer is any more justified than another Believer. Why? Because justification is unchanging! Once a sinner accepts Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the Cross as he places his faith in what He did, the sin question is settled once and for all.
It matters not how long you have been saved. Whether you have been a Christian for 40 years or four days, you have the same righteousness. Hebrews 10:10 makes this truth clear, “By the will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Romans 3:24 teaches us that “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Grace is God not giving to us that which we so rightly deserve. We deserve hell, yet He gives us Heaven. We deserve punishment for our crimes against God, yet He offers complete forgiveness.
Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” God has made a promise to you in Romans 10:13: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”