Justification

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Romans 3:21-26

They are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. (v. 24)

Thomas was dreading this day. Today he would have to stand before the circuit court judge and plead guilty to his crime. True, he would have a lawyer by his side, but there was no sense trying to plead innocent; there was too much evidence against him. All that awaited was the sentencing.

“How do you plead?” asked the judge.

“Guilty, your Honor. I am deeply sorry for what I have done.”

“I am going to do something unusual,” replied the judge. “I am going to absolve you of your crime and set you free. The law demands that you receive a heavy fine, but your lawyer has already paid it for you.”

It doesn’t happen in real life, does it? But it does in the Bible. While we all have little choice but to plead guilty before the divine tribunal, if we have a relationship with Jesus Christ, he has already paid the penalty for our sins, and we can go free. That is the picture behind justification. That term means that God has declared us free from sin and free from punishment, for Christ took our punishment on the cross. We have been “justified freely by his grace.”

PRAYER

Jesus, thank you for justifying us by your grace through your blood shed on Calvary. Amen.