Justification – The doctrine of Justification is based on two other biblical doctrines:
1.) The holiness of God. Found in the New Testament as (Hosios, NT: 3741; Strong’s number definition) meaning, “separated,” as illustrated in John 17:11: “And I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are.” (NASB) And (Hagios, NT: 40) meaning “religiously right,” as illustrated in Revelation 15:4: “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; For all the nations will come and worship before Thee, For Thy righteous acts have been revealed.” (NASB) Also see Strong’s number definitions. What does God separate himself from? Sin and imperfections.
2.) The fall of man. Illustrated in Genesis Chapter 3, then amplified in Romans 5:18: “So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.” (NASB)
When putting both doctrinal principles together we have sinful man separated from a Holy God, which then requires justification or the process of reconciliation. Romans 5:10-11 states: “For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (NASB)
What are the elements of justification or reconciliation?
A.) We are separated from God under the penalty of death as the Scripture states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NASB) The fall recorded in Genesis Chapter 3 resulted in the penalty of death. (See Genesis 2:16-17, Romans 3:9, Romans 5:12, James 1:15).
B.) The payment for this penalty is a blood sacrifice from a perfect being. (See, 1 Peter 5:10, Hebrews 7:26, Hebrews 10:4.) The Scriptures state in Hebrews 9:11-14: “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (NASB)
C.) Man must exercise repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus the Christ. Jesus said in Luke 5:32: “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (NASB) Dr. Luke writes in Acts 20:21: “… solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NASB) Also consider Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” (NASB)
In Summary – Justification is the result of Christ sacrificing Himself on the Cross for man. Man is separated from a Holy God and is under the penalty of death, thus, a payment is required for reconciliation. Upon this payment and the exercise of repentance and faith on man’s part, we are then considered, by God, to be justified or forgiven of our debt for sin and reconciled to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. The Scriptures sums it up this way: Romans 8:32-36. “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” (NASB) As the Scriptures state, God is the one who justifies through Christ and the result is no separation from our creator.