Christians throw around Bible jargon often, but I’ve often wondered a couple of things regarding that practice. First, do the Christians who use those words truly know what the words mean? And second, do people who are new to Christianity, or are curious about it, know what those words mean? This blog series will attempt to give brief explanations for common Christian jargon.

Todays’ word: Justification

If we’re going to give faithful explanations for these words, we MUST start with the Bible. Read each verse and note how the word (or the form of the word) is used.

For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. – Romans 3:28

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…Rom. 5:1

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! – Rom. 5:9

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. – Rom. 5:18-19

However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. – Rom. 4:5

So what do we learn about “justification” through these verses?

  1. People are “justified” through faith not by performing the works of the Law of Moses (Rom. 3:28).
  2. Justification leads to having peace with God. Implication: before we are justified, we don’t have peace with God (i.e. we are “at war” or “in conflict” with God; Rom. 5:1).
  3. In addition to being “justified” through faith, we are also justified through the blood of Jesus (i.e. the death of Christ; Rom. 5:9).
  4. Jesus’ obedience makes sinners righteous. Implication: there is a connection between “justification” and being made “righteous” (Rom. 5:18-19)
  5. It is God who “justifies the ungodly” as they “trust” and have “faith” (Rom. 4:5)

How do we put this all together?

Justification is God declaring the ungodly to be righteous and at peace with Him through their faith in Jesus’ obedient life and death.

In our natural state, at conception (Ps. 51:5), we are sinful and “at war” with God. Therefore, nobody is born into this world a “Christian.” A Christian is someone who has been “justified.” A Christian is someone who has been made “righteous” not by living a moral life, but by believing, having faith in, the perfect life of obedience Jesus lived and the sacrificial death he died. Such a person has been “justified.”

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