Justification

Leanne VanDyk

READ : Romans 3:21-28

[God] justifies the one who has faith in Jesus. (v. 26)

Belgic Confession, Articles 22-26

A judge sits behind his desk, gavel in hand. Before him stands the defendant. The defendant is guilty. He knows it. The judge knows it. Yet the judge brings the gavel down with a sharp whack. “Acquitted!” he says. The prisoner walks out into the bright light of day, free to start a new life. That is like justification.

A lonely teenager tries desperately to fit in at school. It’s so hard to feel good about yourself when everyone else has the right clothes and the cool friends. Every day she feels worse and worse. The only thing that helps, just a little bit, is going home. When she opens the door, her mom always says, “Hi, honey, welcome home!” Her mother seems to accept her just the way she is. That acceptance is like justification.

The way that we receive justification is through faith. Faith is a “receiver” – it receives justification – and it receives Jesus Christ. The Belgic Confession says that the Holy Spirit gives us a true faith that “embraces Jesus Christ” and that our faith need “no longer look for anything apart from him.” Because we are set free from our sin and completely accepted by God, we have everything we need. We are home.

PRAYER

Lord, you have put gladness in our hearts by giving us your Son and accepted us as your own children. We thank and praise you. Amen.