Justification by faith. A fancy theological term to be sure but what does it mean for the average person? To understand what it means we have to establish some important truths.
First of all, the Bible is clear. All human beings who have ever existed are condemned in Adam. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—” – Romans 5:12. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin our natures are bent towards sin. It is impossible for us to do good apart from God. Even our best intentions are evil. We can’t help ourselves. It just comes naturally. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” – Romans 3:23. “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” – Romans 3:10-12.
The law of God demands that the sinner die. ” The soul who sins shall die…” – Ezekiel 18:20 All of us are sinners and so all of us deserve to die. This is rock solid biblical truth. Not good news for sure but truth. The good news is the next part. What Jesus does for us.
The Bible is clear that Jesus’ sacrifice makes us righteous before God. “And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.” – Romans 5:16. We are naturally condemned to die because of Adam’s sin. Through Jesus we are justified. Made right with God. Our sins are no longer counted against us. Even though we deserve death, we get eternal life. Now that’s good news. That is justification by faith.
Justification comes when we accept the clear teaching of scripture and take God at his word. We deserved to die but God bought us back from the dead. He opened the way for us to have life. He justified us before God.