Sunday, November 22, 2009


Justification is one of my favorite words. If you sit in one of my studies, I like to throw it in here and there, and then remind you of the definition. This week in our study of Genesis, we are going to see Abraham's faith counted to him as righteousness. It's his salvation experience. He is justified through his faith, not his actions. It's going to be a great lesson!

Paul, in the book of Romans, tries to explain the whole concept of justification by faith, rather than by works of the Law. He is writing to people who have been saved but have lived under the law for so long, that they can't help but hold on to their tradition. In teaching them that the Law was never intended to be a tool of salvation but an object lesson to point to the Savior, Paul uses Abraham as his premier example of one who was before the Law and was justified by his faith. (See Romans 4.)

This weekend my family went up to our cottage, about an hour away from home, and brought with us a handful of the kids' friends. Sunday morning, after a big pancake breakfast, we sat with them and David talked about what we have to be thankful for this year. We can all list the blessings of health and family, possessions and peace, but he encouraged the kids to go beyond the physical and thank the Lord for the spiritual blessings He has bestowed on us.

He focused on justification and when he asked what it meant, I piped in with my typical response, "It's a clean slate - God marks our account as if we had never sinned or as if we had always obeyed and we receive Christ's sinless record as our own." Good job, Kristen. Nice answer. But David, in his patient manner, explained that it actually goes a bit deeper than that.

Because God is just, He doesn't grant amnesty. Like a president on his way out of office, God doesn't simply grab a bunch of humans and mark their accounts clean. Dave mentioned that he struggles watching the show "Cold Case" because the concept that people who committed a crime and weren't brought to justice until 10, 20 or 30 years later bothers his sense of justice. When a crime is committed, a price must be paid. Again, because God is just, there has to be justice.

So when our account is wiped clean, it's because it's been paid. We receive Christ's sinless record, because He took our filthy, disgusting, criminal, marred, sinful one. To be justified means to have the price paid, to have our account cleaned, to have Christ's righteous record put as our balance and, moving forward, we remain protected within the person of Christ. "For you have died and your life is hidden in Christ in God...."(Colossians 3:3) Justification completely envelopes me in Christ, so all God sees is His Son. I have to be careful not to simply define justification by what happens to me because of it, but by the process that was taken on my behalf out of love for me by a righteous and just God.

So this Thanksgiving, let's fall on our faces before God and thank Him for the precious gift of His Son. Yes, I have a clean slate. Yes, He sees me as always and forever obedient. Yes, it's as if I never sinned. But because God is just, sin had to be punished. Therefore, I am justified by Christ's blood, by His taking my record and punishment and giving me His, through His grace, through faith which is given to me, because He loves me.

Whew! What do I possibly have to complain about after that???

See you on Tuesday morning!



  1. It is beyond amazing what He has done for us, isn't it?

    OOOO, makes me want to give thanks to the Lord and call upon His name (who else could do what He has done?) and make known His deeds among the people

    I want to sing to Him..sing praises to Him and speak of all His wonders

    I want to glory in His HOLY name and feel my heart be glad as I seek Him

    I want to seek the Lord and His the Lord continually!

    I need to remember His wonders which He has done
    His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth

    I am a child of Abraham, His servant
    I am a son of Jacob, HIs chosen one!!

    He is the Lord my God and His judgments are in all the earth!!!

    Praise the Lord!

  2. So many spiritual blessings to be thankful for wrapped up in that wonderful word!

  3. Love it, love it, LOVE IT, Beth! What a great way to see our passage come alive! You're so clever! And skinny!

    Hi, Kathy - looking forward to hearing more about your new mentoring study at your church over at your blog - gals, go over and click on her OVERCOMER blog and read about a new study at her church in Washington...

  4. Justification.....Clean Slate....Thankfulness.....Forgivness.

    All very powerful words for our family this year!

    The complete freedom that comes from knowing that He justified me....

    I have to go back to one of my favorite verses, IS. 38:17..."Yes, this time was good for me, for YOU rescued me from death, and have forgiven ALL of my sins."

    He disciplines the ones that He loves but still in the end He forgives us! He gives us His Son's record...Do you know what it like to not have YOUR own record?? Think about be able to forget your sin...your failings.

    That is what He does, He no longer sees my sin but sees only Christ.

    Thank you Lord for that!!! Thank you that you love me enough to disapline me and then RESTORE me!!! Thank you for YOUR justification!

  5. Amen to that, Crystal! I never got a chance to respond on the "Justification" blog the other day, so let me join in here praising God for that. I like waht Dave said in taking you comment deeper, Kristen. It's not about amnesty - Jesus Christ knew me and all my sins before I was even born, and STILL died for me, taking the punishment for all of that! When I realized He had done that, and that it never needed to be done again, THAT was when I put my trust in him. What a wonderful Savior!

    Regarding today's blog - aren't kids precious! And praise God they keep us humble! I do have to tell you, and you can pass this on to your daughter, that I believe she was absolutely correct. There really is a "Post Dramatic Sports Disorder," and now that I have a label for my lack of coordination, I thank her for giving me an excuse. I get that condition every time I try to play any sport other than Scrabble.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Very funny, Laurie - I will pass that along...maybe that's what I have as well...

    I think the key to understanding Christ' sacrifice is the fact that God is just. King's can grant amnesty, or presidents for that matter, so you would think that as the Creator of the universe and all-might God, He could simply grant forgiveness. But He can't because His holiness demands justice. There has to be payment.

    I agree...He is a wonderful Savior...