“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.”
— Romans 3:28
The most crucial question anyone could ever ask is: “How can I be right with God?” We all need to know how we—sinful human beings—can ever secure right relationships with a holy, sin-hating God.
Do you want to know the answer? Here it is: You and I can gain right relationships with God through justification by faith.
Justification by faith is one of the central doctrines of Christianity. But what does it mean? Justification is a judicial term. If an accused person goes before the bar of justice, the judge can only justify that person if the judge or jury finds the person innocent. If a judge or jury finds the accused guilty, the judge may condemn that person, sending him or her to prison. A governor or king may pardon the prisoner, but even so, the person is still a pardoned criminal, and that is vastly different from being justified. To be justified is to be made “just as if I’d never sinned.” No human judge can ever proclaim that, but God can. When we repent of our sins and trust in Christ alone for our salvation, the miracle of justification takes place.
How well I remember that day when I first discovered the truth about myself. I went before the bar of God’s judgment. Justice accused me, and the scales tipped against me. The Judge looked me sternly in the face and said, “I pronounce that you shall die. Do you have anything to say for yourself?” For the first time in all my self-righteous life, I was speechless. The Judge brought down his gavel and pronounced the sentence: eternal death.
But as death descended upon me, Jesus suddenly intervened, declaring, “Surely he deserves to die, but the spear pierced My side instead. I went to Hell for him so he wouldn’t have to. Now let him go free.” That day, Christ transformed my life, and I have not been the same since.
Have you been justified by faith? Jesus has already served your sentence, and He waits for you to turn to Him, trusting Him with your life. Because He died in your place, your slate can be clean. If you haven’t already, make today the day you accept His free gift of eternal life.