What Does Justification Do? (Part 1)

Part 2 in an 8 part series. View series intro and index.

Justification provides the forgiveness of sins

The first thing that justification does is forgives sin. We cannot be declared righteous or given Christ’s righteousness until our sin has been pardoned. Paul says in Romans 3 that everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (v. 23), but that whoever receives Christ by faith is forgiven and “justified by his grace as a gift” (v. 24).

Further, Paul says in Romans 4:4-5, “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” In other words, God provides undeserving sinners a pardon for their sin. He does not justify their sinful behavior, thoughts, and motives. Rather, he justifies them so that they might be forgiven of all the wrong they have done.

Christ rose from the grave for our justification (Rom. 4:25). But if Christ remained dead, we would still be in our sins (1 Cor. 15:17). Therefore there is a connection between justification and life. Because Christ is alive, all those who are in him are spiritually alive as well. To have your sins forgiven means you are spiritually alive. All those who do not believe to Christ are unforgiven and are still “dead in…trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1).

To be continued.