Biblical Justification – What Is It?

By | March 21, 2016

The word “justified” and its related words (justify, justification, etc.) are used in 60 different verses in the Bible. It is a key concept in the Bible concerning salvation in both the Old and New Testaments and needs to be understood so that the nature of God and how He judges man can be seen.

The Need for Justification

Job 25:4 “How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?”

In the above verse, the man Job understood that God looks at man differently from the way we look at ourselves or at other people. He also knew that God condemns us for sin but that there is a way to be found “just” in His eyes.

David also declares the same truth that no human is righteous in God’s eyes, and by ourselves, we cannot measure up to God’s expectations. David also knew that if God judged us – which He will – that we will not be justified, or declared innocent: (Psalm 143:2) “And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.”

The issue of humans being innocent of sin, or of not having enough sin to go to Hell, is not found in the Bible. We are all plenty guilty, as is explained in Romans 3:10: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one;” and Hell will be the result of our sin.

Because we are not righteous – but we must be if we are to ever enter God’s holy Heaven – God had to find a way to pay for our sins completely; then He could justify us. This is described in many places in the Bible.

Isaiah 53:11 spells this out very clearly: “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” The Father was fully satisfied with Christ’s complete payment for our sin, and this enabled God to “justify” sinners and still be righteous.

The Justification of Sinners Is By Faith

These two verses will plainly reveal that justification is not given to any sinner because he or she is “good,” or “religious.” Instead, it is given to us by faith (not works) because God is good to sinners who are only worthy of Hell!

  • Romans 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
  • Romans 3:28 “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

There’s More to Justification

If justification stopped at this point and only meant a declaring of a guilty one to be innocent, it would only be half a salvation, and it might still be lost. We would be saved at that moment, but since we still retain a sinful nature and a new one, we can still sin.

Here is something that people who believe you can lose your salvation do not understand. In order for God to secure our salvation forever, He had to take another step. He had to give us righteousness above that which we could ever accomplish on our own. This is why salvation is not based on our works – but only on Christ’s works for us! A well-known verse explains this very well: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Corinthians 5:17). Basically this verse tells us that Christ took our sin and gave us His own righteousness in its place!

This verse also shows us that the righteousness of Christ, or – His sinless perfection – has been put on our accounts in Heaven. His righteous record given to us is eternal and nothing can erase it! That’s being eternally secure! Our God thought of everything!

Out of thankfulness for His justification, may we as believers live for Him Who redeemed us from a most horrible wrath in Hell!

Evangelist Mike Valles

Learn more about salvation here.

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