Justified by Faith

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5: 1–2)

The doctrine of justification is one of the cornerstones of our faith. God is a just God and His holiness requires sin to be punished. We read that “the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) How then can anyone escape?

Praise God. It is only through the death of Jesus Christ and faith in Him that we are justified. The clever pun on the word “justified” says it all: it is “just-if-I’d” never sinned. Jesus took the punishment in our place. He paid the price by dying for our sins. No longer do we stand in the dock condemned: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”(Romans 8:1)

Two friends grew up living next door to one another. They sat together in class, played together in the school yard and in each other’s back yards on the weekend. As teenagers they grew apart. One of them continued his studies and became a lawyer. Later in life he became a judge.

The second boy mixed with the wrong crowd, dropped out of his studies and pursued a life of crime as a thief. The inevitable happened, he was arrested and he appeared before the judge – his childhood friend. The charges were read out, detailing the many crimes he had committed. After a few moments of silence, the judge took off his robes and wig, stepped down and moved to the dock.

Embracing his childhood friend with tears pouring down his face he announced, “This man is my dear friend. Let it be recorded that I am charged with his crimes. I promise to repay all that my dear friend has ever stolen. Furthermore, he is free to go with no charges against his name.”

Imagine the sense of relief and overwhelming gratitude of his friend. That is exactly how we should respond to the news that Jesus did exactly the same thing. Through faith in Him we have been justified in God’s sight.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”