Image of Salvation
We are all sinners at heart by human nature. Sin has been in place since the following days of Adam and Eve, although God never meant for humanity to be constructed in such a manner. Along with all the unrest that proved to be triggered because of sin, God manufactured the ideal solution, a means for humankind to restore their sinful hearts in exchange for redemption and everlasting life. However, the path to salvation could be confusing. Justification is an extremely misconstrued doctrine, but nevertheless, a big deal in terms of salvation. Together With a proper understanding of the connection between human sinfulness and justification, salvation shall be comfortably yours in a matter of time.
To understand the significance of justification, first, you will need to know exactly what is meant by the word. Justification is an instantaneous judicial act of God, where He sees our sins as forgiven, to gift us with the righteousness of Jesus Christ, proclaiming man honorable in His eyes (Etzel & Gutierrez, 2012). Romans 5:18 tells us, “One act of righteousness by Christ, leads to Justification and life for all men” (The Holy Bible, 2021). The key is to fully give in to the higher authority, redeeming yourself of all sins. Committing yourself to living a guilt and sin free life. One must be warned, those sinful ways could return like a thief in the night if one’s not careful, but the power of choice is still present (Wilson, 2013).
In Romans 5:1, you read about Jesus Christ paying the price for all sin, sacrificing himself on the cross so that we could be justified through His name. For that, we owe Him our lives. That is why He is the redeemer of all our sins, and we are able to enjoy the peace He gifted us for eternity. He did all that so that we could all be “just” with God. In return, we must fully give ourselves and obey the Holy Spirit for God to take our guilt from our hearts, declaring us righteous like Christ (Questions, 2021).
Since the beginning days of the church, justification, also referred to as solafideansim (justification-by-faith-alone-ism), has been implicitly taught by the church. Although, up to the 16th Century, justification was not precisely taught in the church or by the church. Martin Luther once said, “The doctrine through which the cathedral stands on falls,” debating rather or not faith by itself opened the portal to justification. He wasn’t alone in his argument, having John Calvin in his corner calling justification by faith, “the very hinge of the Reformation” (Gustner, 2014).
A smart way to look at justification, is by looking at it as a metaphor. Since it is a judicial act, think of it as the court of law. A judge, being God, pronounces the criminal, being the sinner, as either guilty or not guilty. But it does not cancel out the sinner’s guilt or declares him innocent. Instead, God imputes Christ’s righteousness into the believing sinner’s account. Justification is also away for sinful humans to relate to the Almighty God (Naselli, 2019).
Justification and Sin
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin” Romans 4:6-8 (The Holy Bible, 2021). In our redemptive forgiveness, God does not charge us with what we owe. He does not count our sins against us. If he did, none, except for Jesus, would ever be able to escape His wrath. Only Christ can stand before God’s judgement (Ministries, 2021). Nothing can change the fact that we have sinned, but our status before God’s judgement seat can change. In Christ, we are absolutely free of condemnation.
Christian Life and Vocation
Living a righteous life, should be clear in every aspect of your daily life. At home, out with your friends, or even at work one should always work towards their salvation. Ezekeil 18 says, “Just because we are willing to submit to the demands of the Holy Spirit today, does not mean that we have to submit to His sanctifying demands of tomorrow” (The Holy Bible, 2021). We are all workers, working towards the same goal in life. We perform the good works as He empowers us with His gracefulness. Proverbs 4:18 tells, to be justified, involves the believer to become more like Christ, to live a righteous life.
The connection between the sinful nature of humanity and salvation, is complex and unfortunate story. It is a story of pure love. “For God, so loved us all, that He gave His only begotten son, for whoever shall believe in him, shall not perish, but live an everlasting life” John 3:16 (The Holy Bible, 2021). God made salvation available to every man, woman, and child on earth. Don’t take advantage of His graceful gift. Embrace it and cherish it like your life depends on it.
Etzel, G., & Gutierrez, B. (2012). Theology Applied: A Living Faith. Nashville, Tennessee, United States: B&H Academic.
Etzel, G., & Small, R. (2016). Everyday Theology: Exploring the Christian Faith. Nashville, Tennessee, United States: B&H Academic.
Gustner, D. J. (2014, May 17). The History of the Doctrine of Justification. Retrieved from Apprising Ministries: https://www.apprising.org/2014/05/17/the-history-of-the-doctrine-of-justification/
McFadden, K. W. (2021, May 19). 10 Things You Should Know About Justification by Faith. 10 Things You Should Know. Retrieved from https://www.crossway.org/articles/10-things-you-should-know-about-justification-by-faith/
Ministries, L. (2021). Justification and Sin. Retrieved from Ligonier Ministries: The Teaching Fellowship of R.C. Sproul: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/justification-and-sin/
Naselli, A. (2019, March 21). A Systematic Theology of Justification. Retrieved from Crossway : https://www.crossway.org/articles/a-systematic-theology-of-justification/
Questions, G. (2021). What is Justification According to the Bible? Retrieved from The Compelling Truth: https://www.compellingtruth.org/justification.html
The Holy Bible. (2021). Retrieved from You Version: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans
Wilson, L. W. (2013, September 9). Chapter 4: Salvation Through Justification. Retrieved from Wake Up America Seminars : https://wake-up.org/jesus-alpha-omega-book/salvation-through-justification.html