Most Christians say that they are justified in Jesus Christ, but what does that mean to a layman? Justification is the love that God has for humanity through the death of his only begotten son Jesus Christ through whom we have received forgiveness of sin and are made upright in the sight of God.
After the fall of the first man Adam, all humans have been deemed guilty and sinful before God. Justification is all about God’s grace extended to those who have believed in his son Jesus Christ, and have been forgiven and acquitted of all charges and declared upright in the sight of God.
God’s high moral standards
Before we can even understand what justification is, we need to know about the triune God’s moral standards. The evil king of Egypt Pharaoh, even acknowledged that the Lord is righteous (Exod 9:27; see Psa 119:137). The morally high standard of God is witnessed in the ten commandments and also seen in the life of Jesu Christ who faced all temptations yet was without any sin (John 14:9; Heb 4:15).
Guilty And Condemned Humans
Human beings have fallen far short of God’s standards and the word of God tells us that no one is good or righteous. Our best efforts are viewed as filthy rags (Psa 53:1,3; Isa 64:6). According to the Mosaic law we are all condemned but through Christ we are washed clean and are deemed righteous and justified.
Getting Right With God
Job asked this question, “But how can a man be in the right before God?” (Job 9:2). The Bible tells us, “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord” (Prov 17:15; see 24:23-24), but God states that “I will not acquit the wicked?” (Exod 23:7). But in the new testament, Paul declares that God justifies the ungodly (Rom 4:5). God provided a righteous way for declaring sinners righteous through the death of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ- The Only Way To Be Justified
God sent His son Jesus Christ, who became flesh to fulfill the Old Testament promises. He became the representative of all humanity and gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Christ as the last Adam is also our substitute and because of Him leading a life worthy of overcoming death and resurrection, He was given the name Savior (Matt 1:21; Isa 45:15,21-22; Luke 2:11; Acts 5:31; Titus 2:13). Christians confess that Jesus is Lord and through Him we have justification.
Justification is at the very heart of the gospel, as it offers hope to guilty, rebellious humans who deserve to die for the sins they have committed. Romans 5:1 ESV says, “Therefore since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is no other way to be justified other than the Lord Jesus Christ who freely offers us His righteousness and justifies us through the shed blood on the cross. This is our hope of being in heaven with our master Jesus Christ as recorded in Titus 3:7 ESV, “So that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”