Justification is a state of acceptance with God. When God justifies a man, He takes him from condemnation and brings him into God’s favour!
There is only one plan of salvation from sin. However, there are various aspects of salvation, and justification is one of those aspects. Justification pictures a courtroom scene where a condemned man stands guilty. When the judge declares him innocent and acquitted, he stands justified.
Justification is entirely an act of God, by faith and faith alone. When man rebelled by disobeying, sin broke the fellowship between God and His creature. Nothing man can do can restore that fellowship. The reconciliation and restoration must be of God and God alone. For this reason it must be by faith and faith alone.
It is important that we understand the doctrine of justification. The main reason for the Reformation was the revelation understood by Martin Luther concerning justification by faith. If we do not have a clear understanding of this doctrine, we may have many problems concerning our understanding of salvation. All the truths concerning salvation are built upon this foundation of justification by faith alone.
Justification is a change in a man’s relation or standing with God. It has to do with the relations that have been disturbed by sin, and these are personal. It means “to declare or cause to appear innocent or righteous.” It is a question of relationship and means that a person is placed in right relation with God. Justification is the judicial act of God whereby those who put faith in Christ are declared righteous and free from guilt and punishment. Justification is more than mere acquittal. It deals with the entire sin question. It deals with the past as well as the present. The sins of the past are covered and are as if they had never happened.
It imputes the righteousness of Christ to the sinner!!! This act of changing a guilty sinner condemned to death to a pardoned, righteous child of God is possibly the greatest miracle of all time.
Jesus Christ took our long list of committed sins and wrote “PAID IN FULL” right across the page.
Romans 8:1 "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..."
Just as Jesus died for our sins, the justified man must be dead to his sins. The sin question is settled forever. It is a tragic thing for a Christian to disobey and again go back to a life of sin. When this happens he is no longer justified but again under guilt and condemnation.
Adapted from Word Aflame
NEXT: OUR GREAT SALVATION - SANCTIFICATION