I used to hear the word “justified” and think I didn’t really need to understand what it meant. I felt like it was one of those big fancy words that only theologians with years of Biblical study behind them understood. I was content for a while with the milk stage of understanding, but over time God has worked on my heart and taught me how important it is for all of God’s children to understand what it means to be justified by grace. The deeper concepts, truths, and theological topics found in scripture are not only for scholars but are for all of God’s people to know and understand.
12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.1 Corinthians 2:12 ESV
God gives wisdom by means of His Spirit to those who believe in Him. His Holy Spirit resides in those with saving faith in Jesus by the grace of God, and God through His Spirit teaches us to understand in the proper time.
What is justification?
We have studied what the grace of God is and why we need it, and to understand grace deeper we should also strive to understand justification. Justification is hard for us to grasp on our own, but with God’s help, we can soak in the glory that is God’s wisdom given graciously to us.
Grace is a free and beautiful gift from God for all mankind. Through God’s grace, we are offered salvation through Jesus Christ. By this salvation, we are made right with God. By our faith in Jesus, believing in His great works for the redemption of mankind, God “passes over” our sins, demonstrating His righteousness by forgiving us our sins.
23 For all have sinned and fall short of the[a] glory of God; 24 they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as the mercy seat[b] by his blood, through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.Romans 3:23-25 CSB
The original Greek word for justified in Romans 3:24 is dikaioō (G1344). This word is found all over the New Testament and means to declare or regard as righteous or guiltless, to be acquitted of charges, freed, and absolved. Justified means to be judged acceptable by God.
Why do we need to be justified?
Sinners cannot be in the presence of God, but through justification, our sins are forgiven and we are deemed acceptable to God and able to enter into a relationship with Him through faith. This redemption is a display of God’s grace and mercy. Once justified, God sends us His Holy Spirit, who will then work in us, transforming us by His grace for His glory, sanctifying us for the works God has prepared in advance for us to do.
26 But the [a]Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.John 14:26 NKJV
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.Ephesians 2:10 CSB
13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”Luke 11:13 NKJV
How do you become justified by grace?
To be justified by grace means that by the grace of God alone, we are deemed guiltless of our sins. We have all fallen short of God’s glory, we have all sinned against God, but when we choose to have faith in Jesus Christ, we receive salvation by God’s grace, and through this salvation, we are made right, justified, to God through Jesus’ blood.
14 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him may[a] have eternal life. 16 For God loved the world in this way:[b] He gave[c] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.John 3:14-17 CSB
Through our justification, we can enter a relationship with God and receive His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit then works to sanctify us, transforming us to become more like God and less like our old selves. Justification adopts us into the family of God, making us co-heirs with Christ, and gives us the promise of eternal life with God. All of this is only by the grace of God, not by our own doing.
17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.Romans 8:17 CSB
3 This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent —Jesus Christ.John 17:3 CSB
30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”1 Corinthians 1:30-31 NKJV
Being justified by grace we are forgiven of our sins, made right with God, enter into a relationship with Him, and receive the Holy Spirit who begins the work of sanctification, making us new creations for, by, and through the glory of God.
Have you accepted the grace of God?
If you have not accepted the grace of God and chosen to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to pray to God now and invite Him in, accept Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins, and repent of your sins. Submit it all to God, lay it at His feet, seek the forgiveness of God, welcome Him into your life, and believe that Jesus died and rose again to save you from your sins.
If you would like to learn more about salvation, you can find a couple of studies that may help here:
- Names of Jesus: Savior
- Don’t Neglect Your Salvation
- Prayer of Salvation
- What is grace and why do we need it?
- What does it mean to be justified by grace?
- Don’t Reject God’s Grace
- Don’t Reject Christ
- Godly Women – what it means to live a godly life
- Redeemed Women – what it means to be redeemed
- What is Biblical Love?
- What are Spiritual Gifts?
- How to live in Spirit and Truth
- How to test what is pleasing to God
- Names of Jesus as the Son of God
- Names of Jesus as the Son of Man
- Names of Jesus as the Truth
Grace Bible Reading Plan
Want to explore the theme of grace throughout scripture? Grab our FREE Bible Reading Plan!
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