Getting to Know God [What is Justification?]
Don’t judge by appearances. Judge by what is right. – John 7:24 CEV
A compass’s needle always points north, a ruler always helps make an accurate measurement, and a plumb line always provides a perfect perpendicular line. These are things you can count on, you don’t even have to think about it. My character is like the compass, the ruler or the plumb line. You can always count on it.
But you have to know my character in order to be able to put such faith in it. This is where many people fall short. They judge me without knowing me.
Get to know me by reading my word, the Bible. Here is just one of the things it has to say about me:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . (Romans 5:1 NKJV)
What does it mean to be justified? Essentially, it’s a legal term that means to examine something and pronounce it free of any guilt.
Picture this. You’re one on trial, and you’re accused of something so hideous and heinous that it deserves the death penalty. To make matters worse, there’s a mountain of evidence against you. Everything points toward your guilt. The Judge, who never makes a mistake, painstakingly scrutinizes every sordid detail. You’re done. It’s only a matter of time before the sentencing. And when the time comes, you rise to meet your verdict. But the Judge pronounces you not guilty! Miraculously, you’ve been justified despite your deeds.
This is basically what I do for you. Your guilt as a sinner is unquestioned, deserving nothing less than death. (Romans 3:23) But before the judgement was given, an appeal was presented. My Son, Jesus was willing to suffer in your place, and the penalty for your sins was paid by him on the cross. (2 Corinthians 5:21) Your faith in Jesus allow you to be justified, to be forgiven, your sins forgotten, your guilt dismissed.
This is who I am — a loving God who sent his Son to the world so that you could be saved! (John 3:16-17) Get to know me. Read my word and find out who I am.
Catalyst for Spiritual Growth:
1 — How would you feel if someone else paid your debt so you could go free? Learn more about how you can be justified by your faith.
2 — Look up the verses in the text above. What can you understand about God’s character from the verses?
3 — Listen to Can I Trust the Bible? by R. C. Sproul.