The book of Romans begins from chapter 1 until chapter 3 discussing the sin of man. Then, in chapter 3 and verse 20, Paul began to make it clear that through what Jesus did for us, the righteousness of God is given to all who believe. It is no longer of the law, but now it is through belief in His finished work. It is through that belief that a person can be justified.
What does Justification mean? Justification has been defined by many as “just as if I have ever sinned.” It is the act whereby God declares a person righteous! It is a judicial act where by the righteous judge declares that a person receives the verdict, “Not guilty: fully righteous.” It is the reversal of God’s attitude toward the sinner.
Thoughts about Justification found in Romans 5:
I. Justification is an act that happens at Salvation- V.1
- Salvation is through our faith in His grace and His finished work in Christ. It is ultimately found in our belief which requires faith. Salvation is very simple. It is by God’s grace through our faith.
- Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”
- Salvation is through Christ. It is all about Him and what He has done. It has nothing to do with you or how good you can be. You can do try your best to clean yourself up; you can try by your efforts to attain Salvation. Bottom line, there is nothing that you can do to attain Salvation. It is based solely on God and His Work. The only thing we must do and you need to do if you have not already is accept the free gift of Salvation that is handed to you by His grace. Then, when someone accepts His gift, God immediately declares us righteous before Him! That is justification. It is not that we then become righteous in and of ourselves through His supernatural work. We then are righteous. How? Immediately God who is infinitely righteous places all of His righteousness into our lives. So, we are who are unrighteous become righteous. It is not based upon us, but it is based upon Him and His imputing His righteousness on us!
- “God receives as righteous those who believe, not because of any good thing He sees in them–not even because of His own sanctifying work in their lives–but solely on the basis of Christ’s righteousness, which is reckoned to their account.” – John MacArthur
- Justification takes place at the moment of Salvation.
II. Justification is the only way that one finds peace with God- V.1
- Because the price has been completely paid for you by Christ’ work on the cross, God’s justice toward us is eternally satisfied. The peace mentioned here is not speaking directly to the peace of God that He brings. This is speaking more toward the peace with God. The battle between God and us is completely satisfied and over. He bought us, purchased us, and eternity won us because of Christ’ work on the cross.
- Christ and His work is our entire ground for peace.
- One thing about the unsaved is that they cannot find peace. If you look at the life of an unsaved person, they are constantly battling. They seek to find satisfaction in money, sex, entertainment, fulfillment, and prosperity, but it cannot be found in any of those places.
- The only place that brings genuine peace and hope is through the justification that only God brings! Our relationship with God is now reconciled.
III. Justification changes our standing before God– V.2
- We now because of justification have a standing in the grace. Grace is God’s unmerited favor toward us. It is giving us what we do not deserve.
- So often we think that grace is what saves us and it is, but it also is a description of our current standing before God!
- When Abby and I heard, “by the power invested in me by the state of North Carolina, I now pronounce you man and wife.” Our standing before the people, before God, and before the state changed from single to married.
- Standing in His grace means that we do not have to prove that I am worthy of His love. See, this is where people go wrong. Too many people out there think that they must prove they are worthy of His love through their deeds, when Christ is saying that is the opposite of my grace. My grace says you are already worthy of my love because of what I did for you.
- Because of our standing, the door of access is permanently open to Him. We now can always have access anytime into the presence of Almighty God! This is a permanent thing. We always have this access through His justification.
IV. The motivation of justification was the love of Christ toward us- V. 8
- The love was given by God/Christ to undeserving people, unsaved people, and sinners. This is reason that the love of God was found in Him, His righteousness, and in His deity, not anything in and of us.
- You cannot do anything to earn His love. It is already there and has been shown to you.
- Paul paints a picture here for us to see. He says, think about this: it is rare for a person to die and give his life for a righteous man. There might be 1 or 2 that would die for a good man. Bottom line, not many people risk their life for another person no matter how good they are. Christ died for us who were neither righteous nor good. In fact we were His enemies!
- In the midst of us being enemies, Christ died and justified all who will believe on Him. I think the demonstration of the love of Christ is amazing, but who He died for is unbelievable. He died for His enemies and rebels against Him.
V. The cost of justification was paid by the blood of Jesus- V. 10
- We are now saved through the shed blood of Jesus. Do you want to know how I am where I am today? It is because Jesus Christ paid my sin debt and it took Him giving His life so that I can be set free eternally!
- It took His life to purchase you!
My question and motivation for you tonight is to examine yourselves. Have you experienced the justifying work of Christ in your life? Are you saved? Then, to the believer, if you are saved, why is there not more righteousness flowing through us since we have attained Christ’s righteousness?