This Week’s Word: Justification

Chris —  August 25, 2008

Let me give you a doctrinal vocabulary word today

This is one of the most important words in the human vocabulary.  The church Reformer Martin Luther said that in it are contained all the other doctrines of the Christian faith.  Luther also said that this is the doctrine on which the church rises and falls.  Think of that.  According to Luther, if a church failed to truly understand and proclaim this one word, then it would no longer truly be church.

The word is “justification.”  Justification is legal word.  It is the idea that when we truly believe in Jesus for salvation, God the father legally pardons us for our sins and imputes to us the righteousness of Jesus.  Picture a courtroom setting with yourself on trial and you know that you are guilty.  But, Jesus approaches the court and says that you have truly believed in Him, that he has paid the penalty for your sin, and therefore the gavel of the Heavenly Father comes down declaring that you are no longer guilty of sin.

Not only does justification mean that the Father no longer holds the believer’s sin against him or her.  But, God also imputes Jesus’s righteousness to the believer, or thinks of the righteousness of Christ as belonging to believers.

Paul says in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”  If you are a hurting person dreaming there is an answer, there is.  And, the answer is found through truly believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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