The word “justified” is a word that takes us back to the cross. Over the past centuries the church has rediscovered an interest in the word. To be justified implies a change in legal status.
In a courtroom a person can have their status changed by the declaration of a legal authority. To be declared “not guilty” is within the power of the judge. While the person is not essentially changed in character, their status is radically altered.
Likewise when the word justification is applied to our relationship with God, we see ourselves standing before the Judge of all judges. We have broken His Law. In many ways. We are guilty and deserve the full penalty required.
But as the Judge prepares to pronounce our guilt, a surprise verdict is rendered: Not guilty. But how could this be? Another has paid your debt. Justice is satisfied. You are not guilty.
How would it feel to walk out of the courtroom after that pronouncement? That is the story of all who have been justified by God’s amazing grace.
And the reason for the cross.
“Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
FOR REFLECTION: The Judge has said we’re not guilty. Do you allow condemnation a place in your life? God will not condemn those He has declared righteous. The condemnation is not from God. In Christ we are no longer guilty.