By Johnie Edwards
Because man sins, he is separated from God (Isa. 59:1-2) and needs to be justified in the sight of God. The word justify means to be accounted righteous. This study takes a look at three things which will make one righteous before God.
The Ones God Justifies
Paul wrote the Romans, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (Rom. 8:30). Please notice the order of justification:
1. Those Predestinated. Paul told the Ephesian Chris- tians, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world. . . . Having predestinated us unto adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Eph. 1:4-5). This kind of predestination is that when God made the plan of salvation, those who choose to obey are predestinated to be saved and those who choose not to obey the gospel are predestinated to be lost. It’s that simple!
2. The Called. To be justified, one must be called. Paul says one is called by the gospel. “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:14). As one reads or hears the gospel preached, he is called, of God, to obey it (Mark 16:15-16).
Three Things Which Justify
1. The Grace Of God. Paul wrote the Roman Christians, “Being justified by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). The favor of God, which is his grace, “. . . that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us” (Tit. 2: 11-12). We must remember that we are not justified by grace alone, but by grace.
2. Faith. The Holy Spirit stated, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). We cannot please God without faith (Heb. 11:6). We must put our trust in the Lord. Re- member Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). I would caution us that James said, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (Jas. 2:24).
3. The Blood of Christ. Again it is written, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Rom. 5:1). The Revelation letter teaches, “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Rev. 1:5).
When This Justification Takes Place
Many do not have the biblical concept of when this justification takes place. The Bible has the answer. The Roman Christians were told, “For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Rom. 6:7). To be freed from sin is to be justified from sin. Now just what is this death about? A reading of Romans 6:2 will show us, “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Then one is “baptized into the Christ,” thus, “baptized into his death” (Rom. 6:3). Christ shed his blood in his death (John 19:34) and when one is baptized into his death, the cleansing effect of the blood is reached, “. . . being then made free from sin” (Rom 6:17-18).
The Justified Will Be Glorified
The end result of being justified is to be glorified by God. By obeying the gospel call, one, if faithful, will be “. . . obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:14). The child of God who obtains “. . . an inheritance . . . should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ” (Eph. 1:11-12). Won’t it be a wonderful day, having glorified God here as a Christian (Eph. 3:21; 1 Pet. 4:16), to have him glorify us over there!