Posted: March 16, 2015 in CORE

Justification.  apple-tree (1)

Pastor Mike dropped this heavy concept on us yesterday, so the students of CORE spent our time together unpacking this awesommmmmmme theological concept.

Justification is that moment when a person goes from being God’s enemy to being His son/daughter.  It is a beautiful, supernatural, delightful moment when God no longer sees your sin (which is worthy of His punishment), but instead, sees Christ’s perfect blood.

Justification is no accident.  It happens when we repent.

“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.  This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.  But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him….God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all eyewitnesses of the fact.  Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear….Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”  When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 2:22-24, 32-33, 36-38

When we repent, we acknowledge our sinfulness, and our inability to save ourselves.  “But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.  He did this to demonstrate his justice because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished–he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.  Where, then, is boasting?  It is excluded.  On what principle?  On that of observing the law?  No, but on that of faith.” Romans 3:21-27

I have heard students (and adults!) struggle to be confident in their salvation.  They worry about whether God will accept them when they die.  But because Scripture is trustworthy and true, we know that understanding justification can make us confident in our salvation.  “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”  Romans 5:1-2a

This requires delight in the One who justifies.  It is not on our own strength or power.  It is supernatural!  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

The example that CORE students discussed yesterday was this:

New Creation.001

Can a grapefruit tree change herself into an apple tree?  No matter how hard she tries, she cannot–in her own strength–become an apple tree.  It would be a supernatural miracle to change her from one thing into another.  But when we are justified, we become a new creation.  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is a gift from God–not by works, so that no one can boast,” Ephesians 2:8-9

That’s justification.  Supernaturally–by grace, through faith upon repentance–God changes us from His enemy to His son or daughter.  Supernaturally–by grace, through faith upon repentance–we go from an eternity in Hell to an eternity worshiping our Savior.  Supernaturally–by grace, through faith upon repentance–we are changed from a grapefruit tree to an apple tree.

And it was all made possible by Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Sure puts a new perspective on Easter, doesn’t it?

I pray that understanding justification strengthens your relationship with the Almighty, and brings rich discussion in your families.




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