God’s salvific plan in summary. Part 5
“And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Romans 8:30.
Our insight says those He predestined, he also called, those he called, he also justified. We discussed predestination and calling in the previous insights. Now, we try to learn the concept of Biblical justification.
Justification is a big word. The dictionary defines justification, “the action of showing something/someone to be right.” More than just showing right, it is a legal declaration. It comes out of a courtroom verdict. A judge legally announces a person is now free from the accusations based on the evidence presented. In the same way, God, who is the ultimate and final judge of all, declares from the heavenly court, a transgressor or sinner is legally free from judgment and acceptable to him because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, satisfied the divine justice, by paying for sinner’s guilt by his sinless, divine and broken body and shed blood on the cross.
Remember one of the criminals who was hung with Jesus acknowledged Jesus had done nothing wrong to be crucified? Then He turned to Christ in his agony and said this, “Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” In essence, he was saying, Jesus, please do not forget me, and I want to be in your kingdom. He believed in Jesus as the Lord and savior. Instantly, Jesus declared, “truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Justification is the result of a person’s sincere and professed faith and trust in the Lord. In contrast to the Pharisee who boasted in his good works and accomplishments, Luke described a tax collector who beat his breast and said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Jesus said, this man, referring to the tax collector who acknowledged himself as a sinner and placed faith and trust in the mercy of God, went home justified before God. He understood his inability to make him right with God. He believed in the mercy and salvation of God. The word used for justified there is a perfect passive participle that indicates the perfectness or completeness based on God’s legal declaration that he is accepted in the presence of Him.
In both of the above case studies, the trust and faith in God not or any work done resulted in justification. God declared them as right with Him and welcomed them to His presence. Romans 3:20 establishes this truth when it says, “” therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law, we become aware of conscious of our sin.” righteousness means the right standing in front of God. The age-old question is how a sinful man can stand right in front of God and live with him in heaven? Verse 22 then says, “This righteousness is given (note it does not say attained, merited or achieved) through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Then it says, “there is no difference between Jew and Gentile because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. However, all are ‘justified’ (here that word again) freely (not by works) by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. It says after how this happens. How it happens is this way – God displayed or presented Christ as the sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood (referring to the death of Jesus), and it is to be received by faith.
Listen! God clothes a sinner with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. People do not have righteousness in themselves to be right with God. The righteousness of God is imputed and alien righteousness, not self-righteousness. A sinner is covered with the righteousness of Jesus. The foreign or alien righteousness of Christ is given to a sinner, although he or she remains in sinful flesh and nature until death. It is a God declared verdict, imputed and alien righteousness that results in God’s justification.
Hebrew 10:14 inform us this, “For by one sacrifice (referring to the sacrifice of Jesus), He (God) has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” It is an interesting and powerful statement.
Justification is a one-time declaration by God based on your sincere faith in Lord Jesus and his death, burial, and resurrection for your sin. The declaration that you are ‘made perfect forever.’ Not bits and pieces. But declared perfect forever. A believer in Christ lives in that stage of the declaration of not guilty or justified forever. The justified sinner is holy and saint in the presence of God. The above verse also says a believer is being made holy as they grow in the Lord and live here on this planet earth. Justification is the one-time declaration by which you are made perfect. However, the progressive sanctification follows justification. Justification and sanctification are different. Justification is the declared verdict of perfection and suitability to live in his presence. At the same time, sanctification is the ongoing process of making you look more like Christ as spiritual maturity develops inside you with the help of the holy spirit who indwells within you.
God wants to declare you justified and perfect forever based on the work of Jesus Christ. God invites you to come to Jesus and place your sincere faith in Him by believing He died, buried, and rose again for your sins.
Would you pray after me? “Father in heaven, I know you call me and invite me to receive justification freely by believing in Christ Jesus. I believe Jesus died and rose again for my sins. Please forgive my sins and save me today. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.”