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Thoughts For the Day:

Justified by Faith:

“We hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law”

~Romans 3:28

So then, what is justification? This is a crucial starting point. How we define justification will determine not only how we think and what we believe but also how we live.

Being Justified by faith is another way of stating that we are not justified by our works. Justification is the act of God, who not only forgives our sins, but by also inserting the desires of righteousness in Christ.  In other words, justification is the completed work by God. Unlike sanctification which is the ongoing work of becoming more like Christ. Sanctification is the result of the after works of justification. Once we become justified, there is nothing else we need to gain in entrance into heaven. Since justification comes by faith in Christ, which is based on Gods works on our behalf, our own works become disqualified as any means to salvation. Once we acknowledge that justification is by faith it keeps us from falling for the lie that we can earn our way to heaven. We must embrace the fact that there are no rituals, or deeds that can make us worthy to any righteousness of Christ. It is only by the grace of God, and in his response to our faith, through his son Jesus that we can become credited to holiness in his eyes.

“Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness”

~Romans 4:4-5

It is utterly impossible for anybody to be justified by works or by obedience to the commandments of God or by doing good. This justification is the work of God and not of man, that is why nothing we can do will justify us. We are sinners. Born into this world with the curse of death at our doorstep. The only way to break this generational curse is to start living in perfect harmony with God’s law. But we cannot live in perfect harmony with God’s law in our own strength, no matter how hard we try. In doing so we will still not be able to wipe away the sins of our past. Living in harmony with God boils down to believing in him. When we believe in God, He then takes into account our faith, our belief, all for righteousness, for our acknowledgement in doing right, and for commandment keeping. This justification or righteousness from God is a free gift. Therefore, with faith being a gift from God it basically means trust. If we believe God’s testimony in Scripture that Jesus was the Son of God, that He lived a sinless life, that He died as the substitute for those God chose to redeem. Then we can move from belief to action, placing our personal trust in the Father and in Jesus Christ to provide the antidote for our sin. Trusting Christ to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Wiping out all guilt of our sin to give us the righteousness we need to stand before the father.

“Therefore, by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

~Romans 3:20-23

Justification is an event; sanctification is a process. If sanctification is included in justification, then that shows that justification is a process, not an event. That makes justification a continuous act, becoming incomplete. Our standing then before God would be based on biased experiences, and not secured by factual confirmation from the bible. So, in other words justification can therefore be experienced and then lost. Our assurance of salvation in this life becomes practically impossible because our security would then become unguaranteed. The ground of justification boils down to our own morality to no longer continue in sin. But instead, continuously present ourselves in virtue, through Christ’s perfect righteousness and his atoning work. So, what is so important about the justification by faith? Well without it there is no salvation, no sanctification, no glorification there’s absolutely nothing. So, in reality justification is really important.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

~2 Corinthians 5:21

God demands more from a person who comes into His presence. He demands righteousness. Now as God justifies a person, it becomes a transaction between the person’s unrighteousness to Christ which then transfers into righteousness to the person. This is the same righteousness that Jesus gained as He lived as a man under the law, yet without sin as its stated in ~Rom. 5:18–19 “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for fall men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”  This is so because then God can disregard the persons unrighteous so they can stand just before Him. Think of justification and our salvation as a math equation, probably something that most of you don’t want to do but bear with me, if you write it out F = J + W. So, F-Faith, equals, J-Justification plus W, Works. Given this analogy we can see that works will follow rightly being justified by faith. If this is the equation, F = J + W that we are to live by, then we know that this equation is stating that we should not even try to put the W on the other side of this equation. That’s the teaching of the devil. Faith plus works yields justification, nevertheless don’t leave out the W. Works are not the fundamental grounding by which we declare righteousness. However, if you just say faith equals J, and then go about your life, well, that’s not right either. Can you see now that there is a life that should produce works, but it only comes out of the production of good fruit bore by faith.  Justification by faith is a great truth that can dramatically change your Christianity perspective. As Christians and being justified by faith alone, changes our standing before God so that we can begin to relate on a personal level with him. Good works and practical holiness do not provide the grounds for acceptance with God. God receives the righteous, those of us who believe, not because of any good thing that God sees in us, or even because of His own sanctifying work in our lives, but solely based on Christ’s righteousness, which is reckoned to our own personal account with Christ. That is justification!

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.”

~Romans 3:20-27

I do realize that this might be hard to take in let alone sell. Yes justification can sound complicated. And I know that talking about justification means dwelling on our own sin, or more precisely, our own unrighteousness which is definitely something that we would prefer not to do. Yes non-Christians don’t want to hear about this and neither do many Christians. We would rather, like to imagine that we are on friendly terms with God, based on a general sense of his kindness and our own personal goodness. But rejecting the truth of justification by faith means we will miss out on any joy in our walk with God. I just want to overemphasize that I believe that justification by faith is more than spectacularly good news. When we come before God as no longer being guilty sinners, it makes us righteous worshippers. Being justified means our sins are forgiven and we have a certain hope of eternal life. Being justified means we are reconciled to God and adopted into his family. Being justified means that we now are sanctified (made holy) and cleansed of sin. When we become justified the freedom from any oppressive burdens become unwavering, letting us live our lives as God intended. We then are enhanced and led by the Spirit towards love. Any loss we may suffer by becoming Christians can be written off as worthless compared to the extraordinary value of gaining a relationship with our father. The justification that comes on the heels of faith in Jesus Christ is amazing and powerful. It’s a gift from God that rests on us and is given to us all for the rest of our days. Although God, as a loving Father, he may discipline us for our misbehavior. It is not his way of making an excuse to disown us or disqualify us from heaven. Instead, Christ lets justification qualify us as rightful children in the family of God, so we can be accepted by God on our worst days as we are on our best. The very righteousness of Jesus Christ has been applied and set forth so that we can go through our lives without fear, without condemnation, and with the knowledge that we are at peace with God.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

~Ephesians 2:10

The point is simple. While on earth, Jesus may have questioned his Father, especially before going to the Cross, but Jesus never doubted his Father. His faith in his Father was perfect. He believed God would heal the sick; he did not question his relationship to the Father nor the Father’s love for him. When he laid hands on the sick, he knew his prayers would be honored and the sick would be made well. He did not doubt that the Father wanted to heal the sick and open the eyes of the blind. Since God wants us to look like Jesus, act like Jesus, and love like Jesus, he also wants us to trust Him. It is the will of God that we trust him just as Jesus did while on the earth, having the same faith towards him.  This faith is absolutely necessary for us if we are to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and become like him. In this world many people stubbornly attempt every possible means to bring about self-justification with no acknowledgement and acceptance of Jesus Christ. Often people will do this by choosing some good work or some favorite charity, but in the end it’s all unsuccessful attempts to consider themselves justified and fit for heaven. They fail to see that our good works, which are indeed important to God, must come after the cross and not before it. As I stated before, good works do not lead to salvation and justification, rather salvation and justification lead to good works! I’m not saying not to involve yourself in helping others by all means do so but see to it that the very first “good work” you do is to believe in God’s Son Jesus Christ and receive the gift of eternal life and acceptance with God.

“If our view of justification does not generate a life of worship and thanksgiving, then our view of justification is wanting.”

~ Nate Pickowicz

When we begin to have a biblical view of justification it will produce an overwhelming feeling of thanksgiving. Knowing that justification by faith is apart from works, that justification is a gift of God, and that we are pardoned, declared righteous, and adopted into the family of God it will generate within us a heart of eternal thankfulness. This thankfulness then render into a life of consistent worship to God. Believing in His infinite wisdom, and his originated design of how sinners can be accepted. The truth of justification by faith should cause all believers to cry out before God, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty.” If we have believed these promises of God, that He has sent His Son for us and died as the substitute, confessed and repented of our sins, then we are justified. Praise Him!

So, to recap we are justified by God’s grace. Grace is God’s part and the ground of justification

“Having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life”

~Titus 3:7

We are justified by Jesus’ blood. Blood is Christ’s part and the means of justification

“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him”

~Romans 5:9

We are justified by faith. Faith is our part and the how of justification

“Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified [declared righteous] by faith apart from the deeds of the law”

~Romans 3:28


Gods Faithful Servant,

Tinisha B.

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