But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness, (Rom. 4:5 NAS)
Justification is God declaring someone to be righteous, or cleared from all sins, and in right standing with Him. It’s wonderful if you look at God-who is all-powerful, and can do all things. It gets “messy” when you consider who He is justifying. Those being justified are not saints, but sinners. He is not declaring saints as righteous in justification, but sinful, ungodly people. The scripture above says God justifies the ungodly. How can this be? Is this just? Is God bypassing His justice by declaring sinners as righteous? Doesn’t that appear to be some spiritual fraud? No, it is not! This is where the mystery of Jesus comes in.
Romans 3:25 says “whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:25 NAS). God, Himself, has paid the full penalty of sins through the horrible sacrifice of His Son on the cross. When a sinner believes in Christ (faith), a spiritual transfer takes place. The sinner receives the full payment for his sins, and the full measure of Christ’s righteousness, as a gift. When God then looks at the sinner, He declares “not guilty!” or “you are so righteous!!”. We have been justified by faith in Christ.
Ponder deeply on the verse above. Declare those words to yourself as you mutter them. Declare: “I am justified freely by faith in Christ. My sins are fully paid and forgiven. Jesus had given me the wonderful gift of His righteousness, and I do not need to work for it”.
Isn’t it our reasonable service to praise the Lord for His wonderful grace? Give Him thanks and praise.
It is amazing that one of the most difficult truths for a believer to grasp, is that they have been justified by faith. The Jews vowed to kill Paul because of this message. It is a terrible offense to the religious. Believing this truth releases the power to live a righteous life, and not the reverse. Receive this truth into your spirit. The greatest expression of your appreciation of this justification will be to express it outwardly, by righteous living. Become a living expression of God’s righteousness. Be thankful for it. There is a “rumor among some believers” that such teaching allows Christians to lead sinful lives. Impossible! The greatest proof of the absence of grace, is the presence of sin. When sin is still controlling someone, it is proof enough, without the need for any explanations, that they have not understood and believed the message of grace, because grace is power to live above sin. First, you must believe what God says you are, and allow that Word to transform your life.
Recommended Read: Justification by Grace
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