Romans 4:20-25 Yet he (Abraham) did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
We rejoice greatly in Christ’s resurrection, knowing that He has promised that “because I live, you shall live also” – John 14:19. But it is also very important to realize and remember that if He had not been raised from the dead, we would still be lost sinners, separated eternally from God. He was raised, Paul reminds us, “for our justification.”
The trusty 1828 Webster’s dictionary defines the word “justification as: the act of justifying; a showing to be just or conformable to law, rectitude or propriety; vindication; defense. In theology, remission of sin and absolution from guilt and punishment; or an act of free grace by which God pardons the sinner and accepts him as righteous, on account of the atonement of Christ. It was explained to me decades ago that it means “just as if we had never sinned.” In the amazing act of sinless Jesus Christ taking upon Himself the sins of the world (yours and mine included) and His sinless righteousness being imputed to us the covering of His atoning blood on the Cross to pay the penalty of sin forever.
The immensity of the load of sin which Christ bore with Him on the cross is beyond comprehension. One commentary states that He had to “taste death for every man” - Hebrews 2:9, for He was the offering “for the sins of the whole world” 1 John 2:2. Since “the wages of sin is death” - Romans 6:23, were it not for the infinite power, as well as the infinite love, of both the Father and the Son, such an infinite weight of sin would seem impossible to overcome, so Christ would die forever, and we would be lost forever. But, in Creator Father God’s plan of Salvation, He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be the “propitiation” (the perfect sacrifice) for sin. Noah Webster defined “propitiation as: the act of appeasing wrath and conciliating the favor of an offended person; the act of making propitious. In theology, the atonement or atoning sacrifice offered to God to assuage his wrath and render him propitious to sinners. Christ is the propitiation for the sins of men.
How could we ever know that we had been forgiven and that He had paid the awful price that would suffice for our salvation? How could we ever be acquitted and declared righteous before God? That is exactly what the resurrection of Christ assures! “By the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life” - Romans 5:18. His infinite righteousness has more than balanced the terrible weight of “the sin of the world,” and He was able to take it away - John 1:29. Although the wages of sin must be death, “the free gift is of many offences unto justification” - Romans 5:16.
This gift of total and eternal justification is free because of His love, but even a free gift must be accepted before it can be possessed. How it justification received? By faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” – Romans 5:1.
In Christ, Brian