Justification
By Rev. Horace Martin



WE BELIEVE:
"We are justified, when we repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ. (Mark 1:5, Acts 13:38-39; Romans 5:1).

I.  Whole World Guilty (Romans, Chapter 3)

Adam broke a direct transgression of God's law when he sinned. Although he was created to be immortal, his sin
separated him from God, bringing him to a spiritual death. Because Adam was the federal head of mankind, this
spiritual death was passed to the unborn generations that followed. Romans 5:12-14, "Wherefore as by one man sin
entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. For until the
law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to
Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that
was to come."

Our problem is, we are all sinners. Our predicament is, we cannot save ourselves. So, we need a Redeemer,
someone to satisfy God's justice by paying the penalty for our sins. The believer's justification is obtained by
satisfaction of God's standard. Christ did not cancel the Law, but He fulfilled it. Man is justified without the deeds of
the Law. The Law condemns, or gives knowledge of sin, but it does not have the power to save. Christ's atoning
sacrifice satisfied God's holy law, thus making it possible for God to forgive sinners and remain just Himself. Thus,
Jesus Christ became our Redeemer, to give us deliverance from sin and its penalties. Galatians 4:4-5, "But when
the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of woman, made under the law, to redeem them
that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."

II.  Justification by Faith  (Romans, 3-4)
The scripture teaches us, that the Just shall live by Faith (Galatians 3:11). Only faith in Christ will pardon and cancel
the death penalty on our lives inherited through Adam's sin. God cannot declare one righteous or remit one's sin
without faith in the atonement. Therefore, we are justified (just as if I had never sinned) by faith not works. Abraham
was justified by faith, 430 years before the Law, without the deeds of the law. David was justified by faith, while
under the Law. Therefore, Abraham and David were justified, by faith, apart from the Law (Romans 4:2-6).

We call Abraham the Father of all believers, not in connection with law or circumcision, but by Grace. He was the
physical Father of the Jews, but he is also the Father to all who follow his steps of faith. True faith is counting things
that are not as though they were. Paul describes Abraham's faith to give an example of what gospel faith is like.
Abraham and Sarah were well past childbearing age, but God had promised a child.
Abraham was fully persuaded that what God had promised, He could do. He, against hope, believed in hope that he
might become the father of many nations. Therefore, it was imputed to him for righteous (Romans 4:16-22).

God has declared us righteous through Jesus Christ. His righteousness can now be imparted, by faith, to penitents,
and they are justified purely based on His grace. Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected for our justification.

III.  Peace With God (Romans, 5)
Therefore, being justified by faith, we now enjoy the blessings of peace with God.  The atoning blood of Jesus Christ
has settled our account in full on the cross. We now have access to God, through Jesus Christ, our High Priest. Our
hope is in the atoning blood of Christ, not in our works, good intentions, gifts, or prayers. God's love has been
proven to us at the cross. When we were weak, enslaved by sin, always missing the mark of perfection, haters of
God, Christ died for us. How much more will God do for us, since His blood has justified and reconciled us as His
children. If His death has saved us, how much more can He save us by His life? The basis of our justification is found
on level ground at the cross. Through Adam's sin, a sentence of death without a promise of resurrection, was
passed upon all human flesh. However, by the obedience and willingness of Christ to take man's place, the
sentence of death was completely eradicated, and complete reconciliation was restored. We were made sinners
through Adam. We are made righteous through Christ!


Having the blood applied, we can point to the cross and say, "He died for me!" Christ's own words are, "As Moses
lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth on him
should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:14, 15). This is the exact parallel of justification by faith. Just as the
simple act of turning their eyes toward that brazen serpent restored the dying Hebrew in the wilderness, so it is still
possible for all of us, even while in the trespasses of sin, to look with eyes of faith toward calvary and say, "Who is
he that condemneth? It is Christ that died." By His death He paid our debt. "He was slain for our offences." This is
our justification.


Back to What We Believe and Why