“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And all are justified freely by His grace.” - Romans 3:23-24
Justification. This one word represents some of the deepest waters of biblical truth. It is easy to just skim over this type of “Bible lingo” and move on. However, this one word shows just how amazing God’s grace is, how deep God’s love is, and how marvelous God’s salvation is.
Justification is absolutely one of the greatest and most important words for the Christian faith. From the beginning of time, a courtroom has always existed for two purposes: to acquit the innocent and condemn the guilty. The picture is clear. If after hearing all the evidence a judge decides that a person is not guilty of the offense alleged against him then he should be declared, “not guilty.” That is exactly what the word, “justification,” means: to be declared not guilty.
A judge should never declare a man innocent if he knows him to be guilty, or guilty if he knows him to be innocent. This raises a huge problem for mankind. If that is all God’s word said about justification it would be a word we would wish was not even in the Bible. We know we are not innocent when it comes to sin. The evidence is indisputable. Yet, we read in Romans 3:24 that we are, “justified freely by His grace.”
The gavel comes down, the Judge looks us in the eye, we are waiting for the worst, and we hear these words, “Not guilty.” How can this be? There has been no new evidence. We have no alibi or special circumstances. So how can we walk away free?
Don’t misunderstand. Justification is not an easy thing to do. God pronounces the guilty innocent and wipes the slate clean. He looks at us in our unrighteousness and declares us righteous. How does He do that? Freely! Retribution is paid freely by His grace. This is what grace is: getting what we don’t deserve.
Father, Thank You for Your grace to me. Because of You, I have been justified through faith in Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.