• Steve McAtee

Justification

Updated: Feb 9


Day 7 of the 22 Day Salvation Study

Notes compiled by Steve McAtee and Marty Zide


Questions to be Covered

What does justification mean? Why does a person need to be justified? How is a person justified and what changes occur? What are some of the results of Justification?


Definition

Justification means that at the moment of salvation, God sovereignly declares the sinner righteous from then on. From that moment, right up to his death, the believing sinner is always right before God.

Justification is the act of God whereby He acquits the true believer of the divine verdict of condemnation and declares him to be righteous.

Justification is God declaring that on the merit of Jesus the Messiah and your faith alone that is placed in Him, God declares you to be right with Him for all eternity.

Justification is the legal act whereby man’s status before God is changed for good.


Need for Justification - Why does man need to be justified?


BECAUSE WE HAVE ALL SINNED

As a result of our sin, we are not able to do that which God created us to do; glorify Him. Our sin makes it impossible for us to live in such a way that honors and glorifies God. Because of that we are in need of justification.

Rom. 3:23 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.


1 Cor. 10:31 - Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.


(This is God’s purpose for us, but we can’t do this because of our sin)


BECAUSE WE ARE WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE RIGHTEOUSNESS

Mankind goes about substituting his own righteousness in place of the only righteousness that God accepts; His own. When a person believes in Messiah Jesus, God imputes His own righteousness to the forgiven individual.


Is. 64:6 - For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.


Phil. 3:9 - and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Messiah, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.


Method of Justification - How is man justified?


BY FAITH, BY GRACE, BY BLOOD, BY IMPUTATION

The method of justification is always by faith in Jesus the Messiah and is always by the grace of God. It’s not by our good works as we have already shown, but by His death, burial and resurrection.


Rom. 4:1-3,16 - What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” For this reason it is by faith, that it might be in accordance with grace, in order that the promise may be certain to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.


By Faith

The only way for a guilty, condemned and lost sinner to experience justification is by faith. When an individual places saving faith in Jesus the Messiah they are justified, meaning that God now sees them as righteous.


Rom. 1:17 - For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”


Rom. 3:28 - For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.


Rom. 4:5 - But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,


Rom. 5:1 - Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus the Messiah.


Gal. 2:16 - nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Messiah Jesus, even we have believed in Messiah Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Messiah, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.


By Grace

The only way for a guilty, condemned, and lost sinner to experience justification is by God’s grace. He bestows upon those who place saving faith in Jesus the Messiah an abundance of spiritual blessings that are underserved.


Rom. 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Messiah Jesus.


Titus 3:7 that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.


By Blood

The only way for a guilty, condemned, and lost sinner to experience justification is by the shed blood of the Messiah Jesus. Justification is made possible through His atoning death on the cross.


Rom. 5:9 - Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.


By Imputation

Imputation means that God now thinks of Jesus’ righteousness as belonging to us. He regards Jesus’ righteousness as ours because He reckons it to our account.


Rom. 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “ And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”


Rom. 4:5-6 - But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works:


There are three great imputations mentioned in Scripture:


1. Adam’s sin to the world.

2. Sin upon Jesus the Messiah.

3. Jesus’ righteousness upon the believer.



The Grounds of Justification


WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR GOD TO JUSTIFY A SINNER AND STILL REMAIN HOLY

This is a very important point to consider since God could not lower His standards of holiness in order to justify a lost sinner. How did He accomplish this?

The ground of our justification is Messiah Jesus’ satisfaction that He made to His Father by the means of His death. As a result of Jesus’ death, God can pronounce a guilty sinner righteous.

Because of this payment, God remains just in the whole operation of salvation.

It’s similar to a creditor forgiving the debt of the debtor when the payment has been made. The one to whom the debt is owed is satisfied by the payment. The debt that is caused by our sin can be justly forgiven by God because of the payment by Christ.


Rom. 3:24-26 - being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Messiah Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.


1 John 4:9-10 - By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.


Facts of Justification


NO DEGREES, GUARANTEES SANCTIFICATION, GUARANTEES GLORIFICATION

Justification puts all believers on a level playing field. What is true for one believer in regards to justification is true for all believers.

All believers are justified alike. Justification does not apply to some more than to others. The weakest believer is as perfectly justified as the strongest. There are no degrees of justification.

You either are, or you are not justified.

All believers who are truly justified will begin the process of sanctification. Whomever God justifies, He sanctifies. There is no such thing as a believer who makes a profession of faith that does not enter into the process of becoming more like the Messiah Jesus.


1 Cor. 6:11 - And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus the Messiah, and in the Spirit of our God.


Rom. 8:29-30 - For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.


Justification can never be lost. Once a person truly experiences it, it can never be reversed. All who are justified will be glorified. Being glorified is the final aspect of our salvation. It takes place in heaven. All who are justified make it to heaven, guaranteed.


Rom. 8:29-30 - For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.


Justification and Works

THE ROLE OF WORKS IN RELATION TO JUSTIFICATION


To be justified is to be saved. Doesn’t the Bible say that Abraham was justified by works? If that is the case, and it is, what does that mean in light of the truth that one is not saved by works?


James 2:21-23 - Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?

You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God.


Rom. 4:2 - For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God.


Abraham’s works manifested that his faith was genuine. Good works demonstrate that one’s faith is genuine before mankind. God does not need to see works, because He can see the heart.

Man can only see faith when it is accompanied by works.


James is addressing justification (by works) before man. Paul is discussing justification (by faith) before God. God is able to do what man is not able to do, see the heart. Humans need to


see good works. However, it must be remembered that works in and of themselves do not save, they must be accompanied by saving faith.


Results of Justification - What happens when a person is justified?


THERE ARE SEVERAL BLESSINGS THAT ACCOMPANY JUSTIFICATION

The results of justification are even more staggering when you keep in mind that all of them are undeserved, but come our way because of God’s mercy, love and grace.


No Condemnation

The justified believer is in a no condemnation status. As a result, we shall never face God’s judicial wrath because of our sin. As a result, we have peace with God.


Rom. 8:1 - There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.


Rom. 5:9 - Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.


Rom. 5:1 - Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus the Messiah.


Declared Righteous

The justified believer is declared righteous in God’s sight. This can only happen as a result of the Messiah Jesus’ righteousness being imputed to one who believes. God sees us as righteous as He sees Jesus.


Rom. 5:19 - For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.


2 Cor. 5:21 - He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


Assures Future Glorification

Justification guarantees the permanence of our salvation. It assures the redemption of our body and participation in Chris’s glory.


Rom. 8:30 - and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.


1 Pet. 1:3-4 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,


1 John 3:2-3 - Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.


Able To Do Righteousness

As a result of justification, we are now able to perform true deeds of righteousness that meet God’s holy standards. These are able to be done by the power of the indwelling Holy Sprit.


Rom. 14:17 - for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.


Phil. 1:11 - having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus the Messiah, to the glory and praise of God.


Expressions of Justification


THERE ARE SEVERAL VARIOUS EXPRESSIONS OF JUSTIFICATION USED IN SCRIPTURE


The various expressions of justification shed light on the importance of this teaching in the Word of God.


Justification By God - THE SOURCE

The source of justification is God the Father. It didn’t happen as a result of our will, or nor was it our plan to make this happen. It was all of God.


Rom. 3:24-26 - being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Messiah


Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time

that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.


Rom. 8:33 - Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies.


Justification Is By Blood - THE GROUND

The ground of justification is the blood of the Messiah Jesus. It was made possible by His atoning death. When Jesus shed His blood it was in payment for our sins.


Rom. 5:9 - Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.


Heb. 9:22 - And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.


Justification By Faith - THE MEANS OR INSTRUMENTALITY

The means of justification is faith in the Messiah Jesus. Faith is not something that we muster up, it too is a gift from God like all of salvation.


Rom. 5:1 - Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,


Gal. 2:16 - nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Messiah Jesus, even we have believed in Messiah Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Messiah, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.


Gal. 3:11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, The righteous man shall live by faith.


What is faith? Faith means to believe God, that what He says, He will do. The value of faith lies in the object of faith.


Justification By Works - THE EVIDENCE OR PROOF

The evidence of justification is good works. Although the Scriptures clearly teach that we are not saved by works, it does teach that true faith will manifest itself by works.


James 2:21-26 - Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?


You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness, and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works, when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Paul works equals the Mosaic Law, for James works equals Abraham offering up Isaac and Rahab hiding the spies. It refers to the demonstration of faith.


Justification By (in) the Spirit - THE SPHERE

We are not justified in the flesh of men, but in the Spirit. The sphere has a reference to the place where righteousness dwells.


1 Cor. 6:11 - And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus the Messiah, and in the Spirit of our God.


Justification By Grace - THE PRINCIPLE

We are justified by the merits of Jesus the Messiah and not by anything we can do. It is by His free grace. He gives us that which we do not deserve.


Titus 3:5-7 - He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus the Messiah our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.


Justification By the Resurrection - THE SEAL

The resurrection is God’s amen to Jesus the Messiah’s “it is finished.” Without the resurrection, all that Jesus did would have been in vain. It is God’s stamp of approval.


Rom. 4:25 - He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of (or literally, on account of) our justification.


No one will enter God’s eternal heaven without being justified. He will not accept righteousness that is inferior to His own. Because of the blessing of justification, God is able to accept all who have personally experienced it.



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