Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. –Romans 5:1-2
Justification is a hard thing to grasp. It’s a hard thing to accept, at least for anyone who has ever felt guilty about anything. Or maybe just for me. What does justification mean? Well, one of the definitions of just is ” legitimate”. That speaks volumes to me. Our justification in Christ means we are made into legitimate children of God, into the legitimate bride and body of Christ, into legitimate heirs of the kingdom of God. Do you realize what that means for us? I mean do you really get it? It blows my mind to think that while I was at absolute enmity with the holy and perfect Creator of the universe, He actually was willing to give up His life and suffer for me so that I could have a connection to Him, a relationship with Him. I mean, just leaving the splendor of heaven was a huge act, and then to live a full life on earth, from wet cloth diapers and splinters from Joseph’s workshop, to serving thousands upon thousands of people during three straight years of foot travel through the hot Middle East, and finally being arrested, tortured, and murdered in a forum of public humiliation. He did all of that because He loved me. Not that I did anything to ever deserve that love, but just because He loved me.
Another key word in the verse above is grace. Grace is altogether my favorite part about God and also the part that confuses me the most, because honestly it doesn’t make any logical sense. Grace is unmerited favor. Unmerited. Favor. Basically, He loves me because He loves me. One of my pastors went through this in a sermon last year. He had a mini hypothetical conversation at the pulpit. “He did that because He loves you.” “Why does He love me?” “Because He loves you.” And so on. Why does God love us? You could say it’s because He made us. Well why did He make us? Because He wanted to fellowship with us. Well why on earth does He want to do that? I’ve never done anything to deserve it. Because He loves us. But why does He love us? Because He just does.
So who are you in Christ? You are a justified, child of God. You are the recipient of an irrevocable and unmerited favor born of His fathomless love for you, by which you are able to stand firm against the enemy who tries to make you doubt your standing with God. You are no longer at war with God, but at peace with Him, hopeful for the life after this one wherein you will experience the fullness of His glory. You are made holy and pure and righteous in His sight the moment you accept Him into Your heart as your savior AND your Lord. It’s important not to forget that “and”, because your peace and your hope will be found when you let Him rule in your life. You are justified.