Five weeks ago, we began a discussion regarding the results of personal salvation in Christ and why it might be associated with enhanced wellbeing as found through Teleios’ research.1,2 The current blogs are describing what happens at the time of salvation, as taught in the Bible, which results in a new and wonderful position for a believer.
This week let us discuss justification. There is no other more important result of Christ’s work on the cross than our justification by faith. Let’s examine in some detail the meaning of this great promise.
Meaning of the New Testament word – This word is vital because the complete meaning in Greek of the word, “justification” (δικαιος, dikaios) is not fully conveyed by the English. As you know, Greek is the original language of the New Testament. The word dikaios carried a legal meaning that still exists today in modern Greek. The word reflected then someone who was found innocent in a court of law of all charges against them. Just like now, in ancient times in the Greek and Roman world there was no double jeopardy.3 This important legal concept means once you have been found innocent you cannot be charged again for the same crime.
Christ’s work in justification – The Bible indicates that each of us has sinned and “fallen short” of what God requires of us (Romans 3:23). Because God is just, He demands punishment for our misdeeds. However, because He is loving, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to take the punishment in our place (Romans 3:24-26).
It’s as though Christ acted as a courtroom judge and found us guilty of our sins and gave us the death sentence but afterwards, stood up, removed His judicial robe, came around in front of the judge’s bench and took the punishment for us. This satisfied God’s demand for righteousness but also showed His great and gracious love for us.
Importantly, Christ is a sufficient sacrifice for our sins as He is perfect, holy and without sin (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 7:26, IICorinthians 5:21). Therefore, Christ was a sufficient sacrifice to satisfy God’s judgment. Accordingly, He died once for all sin, for all time, and He does not need to do this again as did the Old Testament priests (Hebrews 6:1-14; 10:10-18).
Our legal position before God was pronounced “innocent” when we trusted Christ for forgiveness of our sins. We do this only once and our sins are forgiven for all time. Since Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient for all our sins for all time, nobody can charge us again. There is no double jeopardy!
WOW! We are secure in our position before God. We can come to him boldly because there are no limits on our access after we believe and become a Christian (Hebrews 10:20-23). What a great promise we have in our justification!
Indeed, God has given us, as Christian believers, a marvelous salvation and a wonderful secure eternity with Him (Romans 10:9-10; I Peter 1:4-5). Come back again next week and we’ll complete this exciting overview of the results of our salvation.
1. MacIlvaine WR, Nelson LA, Stewart JA, Stewart WC. Association of strength of community service to personal wellbeing. Community Ment Health J 2014;50:577-82.
2. MacIlvaine WR, Nelson LA, Stewart JA, Stewart WC. Association of strength of religious adherence to quality of life measures. Complement Ther Clin Pract 2013;19:251-5.
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