Justification

31 days big

Justification is a Big Concept. What justifies us? How are we justified? These are themes seen throughout the Bible and in every flavor of theology. There’s a twin concept, sanctification, that we’ll discuss later. For now, we’ll stick with justification.

So, what is it? Webster says (drumroll please): the action of showing something to be right or reasonable.

Let’s say somebody shoves you over on the sidewalk. You’re irritated, annoyed, possibly angry. You turn around to tell this person how rude they were when a bicycle barrels past you. That person saved you from being run over by a bicycle! You’re no longer mad, because they were *justified* in their action. They sinned against you, but it didn’t count.

Justification, then, is what Jesus did for us. Theologically, justification is removing the guilt of sin and declaring us righteous. We sin, he makes it so that sin doesn’t count. Though our sins were scarlet, they shall be made white as snow.

Now, like I said, how justification was specifically achieved, and who is justified and how – these things are the subject of much debate that we’ll be getting into, but now you know. Justification is the removing of the guilt of our sins, and the declaration of our souls as righteous.

Check out these Scripture to start with, but remember! You might be biased! (also this is a very, very small sampling of what scripture has to say on the subject – we’ll be back.)

Matthew 12:34-37 “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Luke 18:10-14  “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Romans 4:1-3 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”

James 2:21-26 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says,“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

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Published in: on October 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm  Comments (1)  

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