Biblical Truth 6: Justification Through Faith
The result of Jesus’ atonement for sin leads to what the Bible refers to as “Justification”. To “justify” someone is to prove, usually by means of an orderly law, the person innocent. The Bible states that Jesus Christ justified humanity before God. In effect, Christ made humans righteous by his death for them, receiving the punishment they otherwise would have received. Returning to the courtroom scene, if Jesus took the penalty for our crimes, then justification is the gavel coming down afterwards, pardoning the crimes and calling the case dismissed, all with a resounding bang.
It isn’t hard to see Christ as our justifier. His time on earth was characterized with miracles that healed the sick and gave sight to the blind. He walked with a supernatural power that defied all explanation. Only a person in right standing with God could attempt to mediate for a criminal in our courtroom scenario. Only someone that had the same status as God could offer himself in replacement, thereby justifying the criminal. Through Christ’s miracles he shows his divine power and is always pushing for belief in his mission through faith. These miracles even baffled Christ’s enemies. They had to arrange arguments that refuted his miraculous abilities. His miracles were the main source of belief for many in his three years of ministry in his power. Even his disciples were overwhelmed at times by the miracles of Jesus, such as during the calming of the storm over the Sea of Galilee. Even still, Jesus rose from the dead after all these other miracles. Death had no sting on him. Christ is the only man to claim such a feat successful. If anyone has power to justify others, it is Jesus Christ.
Faith in Christ
To be justified, the Bible states a sinner need only do one thing. He must have faith in Jesus Christ. He must believe in Christ’s love through his death and resurrection. Think of this faith as more than just intellectual belief however. Think of this as faith in a spouse or faith in a parent. The faith given is a trust-filled and devoted belief. It’s a teenager looking at his father after he’s just wrecked the family car. It’s a wife looking at her husband after he just lost his job. It’s the feeling of resilient belief, that knowledge that no matter what happens, the bond of this thing called faith will not break. Faith in Christ is belief in his deity, belief in his death, and belief in his resurrection, in the face of death and sin. It is an acknowledgement of Christ’s actions as a way out, a way of escape from death. Thus, faith has more in common with a little child running to the legs of his father than it does with a pastor preaching from a podium. That is the beauty of justification. It upholds childlike innocence and faith the ultimate virtue.
Talking of justification is like discussing the resolution of a story. Now that Christ has atoned for the sins of the world, he offers justification to those who believe in him and accept his free gift of grace. He, having the power over sin and death, stands ready to forgive and save others from sin and death’s grasp. The Bible states that this belief is not about men’s efforts, lest any man should boast about his own salvation. Rather, it is about the efforts of Christ as he generously offers love to all those who believe in him. Justification is the sunrise after the dark night of Christ’s death. It is the joy of all who believe because they now are freed from death and sin by the mercy of their master, Jesus Christ.
Will you go to Heaven when you die? Here’s a quick test:
Q. Have you ever told a lie?
Q. Have you ever stolen anything?
Q. Have you ever used God’s name in vain?
Q. Have you ever lusted over someone?
Q. Have you ever hated someone?
If you have done these things, God sees you as a liar, a thief, a blasphemer, an adulterer-at-heart, and a murderer-at-heart. And this is only 5 of God’s Ten Commandments (a/k/a “God’s Law”). And the Bible warns that on the Day of Judgment, God will punish you in a terrible place called Hell. But, there is “good news”! God is not willing that any should perish. Sinners broke God’s Law, but Jesus paid their fine by shedding His sinless blood on a cross ~2,000 years ago. This means that God can legally dismiss their case (and yours!): “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Then Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death. Today, repent (turn away from your sins), put your complete trust in Jesus, and confess Jesus as your Lord & Savior… and God will give you eternal life as a free gift.
Contrary to popular belief, being a “good person”, doing “good deeds”, or being “religious” will not get you a ticket to heaven! Many people are hoping God will dismiss their sins because their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. They further hope that because God is “good” he will let them go unpunished and enter heaven. However, because God is “good” he must by nature punish sinners (i.e., God would not be a good judge if he let criminals go free). The Bible states: “There is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20) The Bible also states: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) And finally, think about this, if your goodness could save you, Jesus would have died in vain (i.e., for no good reason). The Bible states: “I (Jesus) am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through me. (John
14:6) Friends, please don’t “roll-the-dice” and gamble your eternal life on the life-threatening lie that being a “good person” will get you to heaven.
Here is a prayer you can use to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord & Savior. It is a suggested prayer – the key is that you are speaking from your heart.
“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me turn away from sin going forward. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus into my heart and I confess him as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for sending your Holy Spirit to help me obey you, and to do your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
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