By Faith We Are Justified—Romans 3:22-24
"This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:22-24)
We memorized hundreds of verses as kids. Even today, I baffle people with how quickly I recall passages of scripture—quite a party trick!
They always come out in King Jimmy Jive, too, because that is how we memorized them.
Today, I am grateful for the scriptures tucked away in my memory.
Since the Law was set up to condemn us, which it did perfectly, God’s solution was to justify us, taking away the charge of the Law
One of the first verses I memorized was Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
It’s true: we’ve all sinned. We’ve all fallen short in many ways, and this is important to recognize, but this is only the partial truth. The main emphasis of this thought bookends this verse.
Here’s the important truth to fully understand: The righteousness we need, comes from God through faith in Jesus. This is possible because He freely justifies us through the redemption provided in Christ.
Notice this didn’t come from the Law, and it never could (Rom. 3:20). Since the Law was set up to condemn us (Rom. 7:10, Gal. 3:10, 23), which it did perfectly, God’s solution was to justify us, taking away the charge of the Law (Col. 2:14). Justification is the solution to the condemning effects of sin.
“The precise force of the term ‘to justify’ may be ascertained by noting that it is the antithesis of ‘to condemn’” A. W. Pink.
If this is God’s solution, what does it mean to be justified?
Along with memorizing Bible verses, we also memorized definitions of words like justification. As an 8-year-old, I could tell you that to be justified meant it was as if I’d never sinned—which is incredible! But now I understand that justification is more than that. A better definition would be defined as if I’d always obeyed.
“Pardon takes away the filthy garments, but justification provides a change of raiment.” A.W. Pink
Do you see the difference?
If we’d never sinned, there is still a lack because the law requires full obedience. But if we are credited with always obeying, then the Law is fulfilled in us.
In Jesus, a transaction has been made. We gave Jesus our sin and the Law’s sentence for sin (Rom. 6:23). And He gave us His perfect record of obeying the Law (righteousness) and the reward—eternal life (John 3:16; Rom. 8:4). Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).
If by faith we are the righteousness of God, then a change in legal status has been made. In the eyes of the Law, we are faultless. This is why Jesus justified us. So there could be no charge from the Law, no condemning effects from sin and most importantly so He could grant us eternal life as the reward for fulfilling the Law.
“Pardon takes away the filthy garments, but justification provides a change of raiment, (Zec 3:4)” A. W. Pink.
This is incredible! Today, take a moment to thank Jesus for justifying you. I pray that God gives you a revelation of all that this entails and that your life will reflect the beauty of this truth!
For further reading on justification please check out A. W. Pink’s book, The Doctrine of Justification.
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Original article published June 22, 2009.