One of my earliest childhood remembrances is when I was about five years old. I must have really liked candy because I was willing to sneak it out of the candy bowl in the cabinet when no one was around. I was sneaky because I didn’t want to get caught. Have you ever done something like this? You knew something was wrong but yet still did it? This is called sinning. We have all sinned, but sin is not a light, fun thing. It is a bad thing with horrible consequences- some now and some later. Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to pay for those sins? Well, maybe there is another way. Justification is the process in which your sins are in a way forgotten, and you can go free. It is the process in which Jesus Christ takes on the punishment for your sins. This is significant because it saves us from our sins. We are going to look at what justification means, the process of it, and what makes it so significant.
My first point- Justification is an act that God does in us by which we become cleansed of our sin. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, justification is “the act, process or state of being justified by God”. Joyce Meyer, who is a speaker and author, describes justification as being “just as if you’ve never sinned.” Because God is a holy, perfect God, He cannot look upon us when we are living sinful lives. But since God loved the people in the world so much, He came up with a plan that would cleanse us of our sin so He could bridge the gap that our sin had made between Him and us. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
This leads me to my second point- The process of justification came through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. And mind you, this was not one of His hundreds of sons. This was the only Son He had. And God gave Him willing for you just as John 3:16 says. This Son lived a perfect life which means He never sinned once. He was tempted just as we are, but He never fell into the temptation. And then, He willingly died on the cross for each and every one of us. He then was raised again three days later by God, His Father. What this did for us was give us the opportunity to be free from our sin. You see, when Jesus died, He took every sin that you would ever commit during your whole life and paid for it all. All you have to do is accept His free gift. Romans 10:9 says “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved”. William Gurnall also once said, “We are justified, not by giving anything to God, -what we do,- but by receiving from God, what Christ hath done for us.” It is as simple as that.
My last point- Justification is significant because, without it, we would be faced with eternal punishment instead of eternal life. Because of our sin, we deserve death. But when Jesus died on the cross, He paid for our sin. We no longer have to die for our sins. Romans 5:9 says, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” His death saved us from God’s wrath. We can now be declared righteous if we accept Him. “This is the rock where we stand when the dark clouds gather and the floods lick at our feet. Justification is by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone” (John Piper).
Looking back years ago to the candy bowl incident, I know that was wrong. God gave everyone a conscience to know what is right and wrong. We have no excuse. That is why when we sin, we must be punished. When we are justified, we are made right in God’s sight. We are no longer guilty in His eyes. God’s plan in sending Jesus Christ to die a sinner’s death made a way for us to be justified. And justification saves us from death. The way has already been paid for you, will you accept this free gift and be justified?