What does justification mean? Maybe you’ve come across that word in church or in the Bible. Justification was originally a judicial word used in the courts. It means, “Not guilty.” It is the opposite of condemnation. Justification clears our record, and removes every charge. We can stand before a holy God just as if we had never sinned. How can that be accomplished?
We all have sinned, missed the mark, and fallen short of God’s glory. Because of that we stand before God guilty. But, Jesus paid the price for sin on the cross. He bore the guilt and punishment for our sin. He died in our place. He became our substitute. That’s actually what Jesus meant in his final words, “It is finished.” He was saying, “Paid in full.”
My family went to Bush Gardens last week one last time before the start of school. We stopped at a Chick-fil-a. To our surprise, the car in front of us paid our debt. We drove up to hear incredible news, “Paid in full!” Another had paid our debt. That’s what Jesus did.
At the drive-in I could have said, ” I don’t believe it. I’m going to pay myself.” Unbelief would have meant missing the gift. I had to believe before I could receive.
Hearing that Jesus has paid the price for sin is not enough. We must believe in his work. When we place our faith in Jesus, his gracious payment gets applied to our account. We go from standing guilty, to standing justified and righteous before God.
Romans 5:8-9 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”