My sister recently texted me a photo of a plaque that said: “Let’s assume I’m right. It will save time.” I know why it made her think of me! For her entire life, she’s kindly tolerated an older sister who always wants to be right and wants other people to acknowledge that she’s right. I often feel strongly about being justified in my beliefs or in my behavior.
Merriam-Webster defines “justify” as “to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable.” And while we can try to justify ourselves in the sight of others with our persuasive words or good works, there is only one way for sinners to be justified before God.
This month we are looking at benefits we receive from Christ’s death and resurrection. Over the past two weeks, we’ve looked at the benefits of reconciliation and forgiveness. Romans 3:23-24 teaches us that we receive the gift of justification through the redemption that Christ purchased for us.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23–24)
In these verses, Paul starts with the bad news: we have all sinned. We can’t justify ourselves before God, because we fall short of the righteousness God requires. We can’t do anything to deserve God’s gracious gift, and we can’t earn it on the basis of our own works or merit.
But here’s the good news: In Christ Jesus, we are declared righteous by the gift of God’s free grace.
God doesn’t just overlook our sin and declare us to be righteous when we’re not. He declares us righteous because the Righteous One suffered and died in our place. Christ purchased our redemption by living a perfect life in our place and taking the punishment our sin deserved. Now Christ’s righteousness is given to those who place their trust in Him.
If you are in Christ, when God looks at your life, He sees Christ’s perfect record. There’s no need to argue your case or try to prove yourself worthy. You can walk in the joy and freedom of God’s grace.
No matter what you face this week, you are justified by God’s grace.Share