Justification by faith in Jesus Christ is one of the fundamental aspects in the Salvation of man. It is an important subject in the Bible, since it teaches us, that every human being has sinned against God and that the only way that man can be justified before Him is through Jesus Christ.
What is Justification by faith in Christ?
Justification by faith is the result of the divine grace of God, for the love of humanity (Rom 3:24, 5, 8-9, 21; Tit 3:7; Jn 3:16). It is a gift that we do not obtain because we have deserved it, nor for the works we have done (Eph 2:8-9; Ro 3:28; 2 Ti 1:9; Ps 143:2). The Bible tells us that none will be justified by the law (the commandments) (Ro 3:20), because we have all broken it, there is not one commandment that we have not broken (Rom 3:10; Is 53:6).
This gift of Justification is only obtained through faith in Jesus Christ (Ro 3:24, 5:1; Ga 2:16). Believing that Jesus on the Cross of Calvary became guilty of all our sins (Is 53:5-6, 10), even without Him having never committed any (2 Co 5:21; 1 Pe 2:22). And not only that, but God raised him up according to the scriptures, so that we too can rise and live in a new life for him (Ro 6:5-11, 4:25; Acts 2:32, 13:30- 31).
In a clearer way, the word justification means declaring a person to be just or blameless. This means that God sees you as if you had never sinned. It’s like you just committed a crime and went to jail, but someone decides to pay the price of your bail. This is what Jesus Christ did for you and for me, he took the punishment that you and I deserved for violating God’s law, receiving all the punishment in his body until death. But the moment he was resurrected, He dressed with his justice everyone who repented of his sin and believed in his name (Ro 4:25).
How does Justification work for Faith?
Justification works by substitution, that is, Christ took your place on the Cross and erased your sins, present, past and future (2 Co 5:21; Ga 3:11; Eph 5:2; 1 Pe 3:18). One of the examples of substitution found in the Old Testament is the lamb that was given as a sacrifice for sins on the Bronze Altar of the Tabernacle (Lev 4:35).
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit (1 Peter 3:18).
Result of Justification by Faith?
The Lord Jesus takes my sin and gives me his Justice (Rom 4:25; 1 Peter 3:18). A very clear example in the Bible would be the thief who repents at the last moment and recognizes Jesus as his Lord and Savior (Lk 23:39-43). This man was not delivered from his punishment on earth and his judgment given by men, but he was justified before God, for believing in him who was sent as propitiation for our sins (1 Jn 2:2; Ro 3:25, 5:1, 5:9).
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Characteristics of the Doctrine of Justification in Christ
- It is originated by Divine Grace (Ro 3:24, 5:17, 21; Ga 2:21; Eph 2:8; Tit 3:7).
- It is based on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Is 53:11; Jr 23:6; Acts 13:38-39; Ro 3:24-25; 1 Co 1:30, 6:10; 2 Co 5:21).
- It is through personal faith (Ge 15:6; Ro 1:17, 3:22, 26, 28, 30, 4:5, 5:1, 10:4, and Ga 2:16, 3:6, 11, 22, 24; Phil 3:9; He 10:38 Jas 2:22-24).
- Not for human works (Acts 13:38-39; Ro 3:20, 4:2, 5, 13; Ga 2:16, 3:11, 5:4; Phil 3: 9).
- It produces sanctification by the Spirit (1 Cor 6:11).
The application of Justification in the personal life of the Believer
Your name is written in the Book of Life
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).
All your sins have been forgiven and forgotten
To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women (Acts 8:10-12).
God loves you, enjoy your life as a child of God
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God (Romans 8:14-16).
You are responsible for remaining faithful to God
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18).