CHARACTERISTICS OF JUSTIFICATION
Jesus told a breath-taking, eye-opening parable as is the description of most of His parables. It is found in Luke 18:9-14. He classified two men. One he declared justified. The other he declared not-justified. As we consider this parable we can notice two characteristics of justification.
One, justification is necessary. There is none in right standing before God (Romans 3:10). The word justification has been defined – “just as if I had never sinned”. Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” No one is without separation from God. Sin separates us from God. Since all have sinned. We are all separated from God. No one is in right standing before God without justification. There must be a change. There must be a removal of sin that separates us from God. Justification is necessary.
Two, justification comes by action. The first man in the parable provided a list of his personal actions and accomplishments to gain right-standing before God. The second man did as Abraham (Romans 4:3). He believed God and it put him in the category of justified. The second man admitted his current lack of right standing before God and asked God to act on his behalf. God acted on that man’s behalf. That action by God caused that man to go home justified – just as if he had never sinned. God had mercy on the man, removed his sin, and made the man in right standing with Him.
Romans 3:24 tells us the act of God on our lives to make us justified is a gift to us. It is not anything we earn or deserve. It is freely bestowed upon us. This right-standing before God is provided by God’s grace (unmerited favor) through Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ alone was just – in right standing before God never having sinned. It is He alone who is able to change a sinner into a classification of justified. Romans 3:26 says Jesus is the Justifier of all who believe in Him.
How would God classify you? Would you be classified as Justified or not Justified? There’s only two options. Do you recognize justification is necessary? Do you recognize it must be God who acts to bring about your justification? Are you coming to God telling Him all you’re doing or are you coming to God believing all He’s done?
May we all continually humble ourselves, believe God, and be classified by God Justified – just as if we had never sinned.
Live today dependent on God.
You will never glory in God till first of all God has killed your glorying in yourself. ~C. H. Spurgeon