Because I believe Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am justified. This year I have been studying Romans in Bible Study Fellowship and my pastor just finished a lengthy sermon series on Romans. I am learning that being justified is a really big deal. Why? To be justified means to be declared ‘not guilty’ and to be acquitted of wrong doing or shown to be innocent. Because of our sin nature we are guilty before God and can do nothing to help ourselves. We can’t do enough good works or be really good and earn enough ‘points’ to be declared worthy or clean before God. All you have to do is look around you to see that people do wrong things all the time even when they don’t really mean or want to. Romans 3:23, “ for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” is pretty plain that all mankind are sinners. However, let’s look at verse 24, “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”. We are all sinners but saved by Jesus because He declares us ‘not guilty’ though His work on the cross. It was a gift to us though His grace when we believed in Him. We did nothing to deserve it. Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Our faith in Jesus brings us into a relationship with God that is peace filled and free from the guilt and burden of our sin. Martin Luther declared many centuries ago that we are saved by grace alone, in Christ alone and by faith alone. Christ did all the work to save us and justify us before God.
As I think about this, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Jesus saved me from condemnation and declared me ‘not guilty’ before our heavenly Father. I will no longer be subject to the penalty I really deserve for my sins which is eternal death. I am also now open to God’s peace and can let it fill me each day as I rest in His eternal redemption. Praise God! How about you? Are you resting in Jesus? Let this time of Lent be a time of peace filling as you praise Jesus for dying for you and declaring you Not Guilty before God.
Eternally grateful for His justification and peace,