Rom 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
THE CONCEPT OF JUSTIFICATION – THE PROCLAMATION OF OUR INNOCENCE
The word ‘justify’, shows up in the Scripture about 50 times. 1/3rd of those are in the book of Romans.
The Greek term that we translate justify – is a legal term that was used in Roman courts of law to describe that an individual had been acquitted of the crimes that they were accused of. It was a proclamation of innocence over the accused.
We have not simply been forgiven, we have been justified.
Justification is a legal term, but it has at it’s core the issue of relationship and intimacy. It is not merely a legal reality it is a spiritual reality rooted in love and relationship with God.
THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION IN THE OT
Ex 34:6-7 And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
The phrase “by no means clearing the guilty” appears to be a phrase that is in stark opposition to the idea of justification. However, when translated literally that it is “acquitting not acquitting” or “vindicating not vindicating.” It is a jewish idiom that means when one returns to God, He acquits their sin, but when one doesn’t return they are not acquitted.
“Pardoning them who convert unto His law, but acquitting not them who convert not;” – Targum Onkelos
This is huge because the concept of Justification, acquitting the guilty, is not simply something that God does, it is something that describes who He is. He is a justifier. A facet of His name, of His nature, is to acquit those who return. At the core He is fully Just and fully a justifier.
Isa 45:25 “In the LORD all the offspring of Israel will be justified and will glory.”
Isa 53:11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
By His knowledge – By what he goes through He shall justify many. How? He will bear their iniquities. In the greatest intercessory act of all time, Yeshua, the Man from Galilee, God in the flesh, takes upon himself the sin of the entire world and is judged as a sinner, in order to enable all to go free.
The concept of justification is the basis for how we can even understand the Bridal Paradigm.
In Song 1:5 When the maiden says, I am dark but lovely, she is describing the root system of justification. God has taken the filthy and made them beautiful, He has taken the guilty and mad them innocent.
Hos 2:19-20 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; 20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD.
THE PARADOX OF JUSTIFICATION – God justifies man, Man justifies himself
Pro 17:15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.
God and man both want the same thing… for mankind to be justified. Their means and motives are however, completely in opposition to each other.
Man, justifies himself while condemning God. God justifies men, through condemning himself.
“I don’t deserve this…” man justifies himself every chance he can and condemns God. The problem is that the man who justifies himself before God, rejects God’s operation of justification and therefore will be condemned by God.
Job 32:2-3 But the anger of Elihu … burned; against Job his anger burned because he justified himself before God.
Job 40:7-8 “Now gird up your loins like a man; I will ask you, and you instruct Me. 8 “Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?
Psa 51:2-4 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. 4 Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.
David’s attitude is the right one as it relates to God being justified. Men are sinful. We have rebelled against the Lord. Therefore He is justified when He judges.