1) The Need of Justification.

Romans 3:10-We lack the righteousness we need.
Isaiah 64:6-The righteousness we have is no good.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10-The unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom.

2) The Meaning of Justification

"Justify" -- Think of the word "righteous."
"Justification" -- Think of the word "righteousness."
"TO JUSTIFY" means "to declare or to pronounce righteous."  It is a judicial term (see Deut. 25:1).
"Justify" does not mean "to make righteous" (see Luke 7:29 -- the people did not "make" God right, they declared Him to be right).
The opposite of Justification is CONDEMNATION (Deut. 25:1; Rom. 5:16-19).

3) The Problem of Justification

Romans 3:26-HOW CAN GOD BE JUST AND AT THE SAME TIME JUSTIFY THE BELIEVING SINNER? How can a righteous God justify an ungodly, guilty person (Rom. 4:5)? Apart from Calvary’s cross there can be no solution.

4) The Basis of Justification

"Justified by His blood" (Romans 5:9)
The substitutionary death of Christ is the one and only basis for the justification of sinful men (1 Peter 3:18; 2 Cor. 5:21; Isaiah 53:6).
All the demands of Divine justice have been fully satisfied by the finished work of Christ on the cross. God judged His Son (Rom. 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:21) so that He might justify the believing sinner (Rom. 4:5). My Substitute took my sin so that I might receive His righteousness! (Isaiah 53:6; 2 Cor. 5:21). The death of Christ is the only basis of justification; otherwise the death of our Saviour would have been "in vain" (Gal. 2:21).

5) The Source of Justification

"Justified freely by His grace" (Rom. 3:24)
It’s all of God and all of grace! We don’t deserve God’s gift of righteousness at all (compare Rom. 5:15-16). The publican did not deserve it (Luke 18:13-14) and the "ungodly" do not deserve it (Rom. 4:5)!
God in His grace provided it, offers it to all and gives it to all who believe!

6) The Channel of Justification

"Justified by faith" (Rom. 3:28; 5:1)
How does a sinner get this perfect righteousness?  It is received "by faith." The sinner is justified by the death of Christ as to the basis and through faith as to its appropriation. The free gift of God’s righteousness must be personally "received" (Romans 5:17).

7) The Example of Justification

ABRAHAM is the prime example used by both Paul and James (Gen.15:6; Romans 4; James 2).

8) The Result of Justification.

God’s perfect righteousness is put to my account (Rom.4:3-5) and thus I am perfectly righteous, not in myself (I’m still a sinner), but "IN CHRIST JESUS" (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Cor. 1:30). God now sees me just as righteous as Jesus Christ (1 John 3:7), just as if I have never sinned and just as if I have always kept God’s holy law perfectly! Being justified I now have PEACE WITH GOD (Rom.5:1) and NO CONDEMNATION (Romans 8:1; John 3:18; 5:24).  See also the study 215 Things That are True of Me Now That I am Saved.

9) The Evidence of Justification

James says that Abraham was "justified by works" (James 2:14-22). This is how we "show our faith" and this is how we prove to men the reality of our justification! See also 1 John 2:29; 3:7; 3:10.  Consider also the study entitled,  Justification by Faith and Justification by Works--Did James Contradict Paul?

10) The Hope (future) of Justification

Romans 8:30 -- -"whom He justified, them He also GLORIFIED." Glorification is guaranteed and in the mind of God it is already done!


This material is taken from Romans chapter 4.

For a simplified discussion of justification designed for new believers, see Why Was It Necessary for Christ to Die?


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