In Romans, Chapters 1 to 4, Paul is speaking about ‘righteous living’, despite the fact that since Adam, we have all sinned (Chapter 3:23). The only person who has not fallen into this category is, of course, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, which is why He could become the Saviour of sinners.
In Chapter 5:9, Paul says, ‘Since we have now been justified by His (Christ’s) blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!’
So what exactly is He speaking about, and what does it mean to be justified?
The word ‘justify’ comes from the Greek word Dikaioo, which means ‘to set right, and to deem an individual to be righteous before God’. Justification is the pronouncement of sinners as ‘righteous’ (in right relationship with God) through their believing faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are considered by God to be ‘justified’ and ‘righteous’ once we believe that Jesus died to bear the punishment due to us for our sins. Jesus has taken the blame and punishment for sin in our place. We are to trust in the sacrificial death Jesus endured, as the perfect and sinless substitute. God would be unjust to punish sin twice; that is if He were to punish us after we have believed and trusted Jesus for our justification.
This is where the Apostle John is able to say, “If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Also, in verse 7, John has already said that “the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin”.
Every sinner who believes the due punishment of God for their sin was borne by the death of Jesus is now washed perfectly clean from their sin, and, in God’s eyes, they are seen just as if they had never sinned.
As a child with a habit of stealing, it was a wonderful relief to know that when I repented and trusted Jesus for my forgiveness, God saw me ‘just as if I’d never sinned’. I did nothing to earn this kind of righteousness, except to trust what Scripture says, and believe that God is true to His word.
If you have never known this kind of peace through forgiveness, ask God to forgive you, and trust in what Jesus has done.
Prayer: Thank You Father God, for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place and take the punishment for my sinful past. Thank You that, because Jesus died and His blood was shed to cleanse me, I am now justified. Thank You, Jesus, for dying for me and paying the just penalty for my sin. Please enable me to live the kind of life that is worthy of such a sacrifice, I pray. Amen.