Read: Romans 5:1-21
Consider: Justification has been described by some writers as God’s ‘Not Guilty!’ As Christ’s atoning sacrifice paid the price for our sin, we now come to how God sees us when we accept his forgiveness in faith. There are two aspects to justification. Firstly, it is the act of God forgiving us because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross. Secondly, it involves how God imputes to us the righteousness of Christ. In this context the word ‘imputes’ means ascribes, assigns or credits. It may be that you haven’t appreciated that, as a believer, God sees you as righteous.
Can you grasp the implication of this? It means not only has the price for your sin been paid and when you come to believe it you receive God’s forgiveness, but that when you come to believe God sees you in the same way as he sees his Son, Jesus Christ – as righteousness. We will think about forgiveness in a later post, but for now keep your mind on this idea of being justified in God’s sight.
When Paul spoke in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch (recorded in Acts 13) he said this about justification: Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses (Acts 13:39). This reinforces what we have already learned – that the OT blood sacrifice could not make a person inwardly clean. The OT Law made sin evident, but keeping of the Law could not bring a person into a right relationship with God. Paul also speaks of this in Galatians 2:15-16 where he says: We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no-one will be justified.
Let me leave you with the words of Galatians 2:20-21 – I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!
Think on these things!
Pray: Father, we thank you for the Blood of Christ justifying us in your sight. Help us to understand that you see us as righteous in Christ and may we seek to live in a way that shows that ‘Christ lives in me’. Amen