by Brad Jolly
It’s such a big “theological” sounding word, isn’t it? Maybe you’ve heard a preacher use it before. But what does the word justification, or justified, actually mean?
Justification is the act of God declaring a sinner to be righteous before Him. In more simple terms, God takes a guilty sinner and declares them to be in perfectly right standing before Him as if they had never sinned to begin with.
So how does God take you and me, who are sinners, and declare us to be absolutely righteous? Only through One who has never sinned and would be able to take our place for us. Christ is that One, and He is the only one who qualifies to be our Substitute.
Author and teacher Kay Friederichsen in her book, “God’s Will Made Clear”, explains it better for us.
“Justification is provided through the price for sin paid on the cross when Christ shed His blood for the remission of sins.
“And without shedding of blood [there] is no remission [of sin] (Heb. 9:22).
Christ was willing to take the death penalty that we deserve; to die on the cross as cursed of God, that we should not have to bear the curse we have brought upon ourselves:
“For He [God] hath made Him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree [crucified]” (Gal. 3:13).
“And He [Christ] is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2).
The word “propitiation” means to “turn away wrath” or to “placate, or stand between the sinner and God.”
So, God, through Christ and His death on the cross, provided the complete payment for our sins in our place and can then declare the believer “righteous” before Him.
Praise God that you and I can stand before Him with no guilt and all the righteousness of Christ!