JUSTIFIED BY FAITH // Galatians 2:16
Justification (dikaíōsis – Dee-Ki-Osis) - The gracious act of God by which He declares a sinner righteous solely through faith in Jesus
1.JUSTIFICATION IS A GRACIOUS ACT OF GOD
At the end of verse 16, we read these words, “by the works of the law no human being will be justified”
If those words seem familiar, there’s a good reason: Paul is referencing a Psalm
Psalm 143:1-2 “Lord, hear my prayer. In your faithfulness listen to my plea, and in your righteousness answer me. Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one alive is righteous in your sight”
What David understood and what Paul is trying to convey:
God is holy and we are not – our sin has separated us from Him.
Luke 16 calls it a “great gulf fixed between” sinful man and a holy God
Through self effort, good works, moral behavior, religious checklist, acts of charity, man tries to build a bridge across the gap that separates us but no matter how valiant or sincere our efforts, we cannot.
The good news of the Gospel is that we don’t have to.
God has taken it upon Himself to do something about the uncrossable expanse that exist between a perfect Creator and His imperfect creation.
John 3:16-17 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him”
Justification is a gracious act of God.
2.JUSTIFICATION IS A GRACIOUS ACT OF GOD BY WHICH HE DECLARES A SINNER RIGHTEOUS
Justification is at its core a legal term.
Picture a grand courtroom with a sinful man standing before his Holy Judge. As we’ve already unpacked, there’s no plea of innocence offered by the sinful man.
- He can’t appeal to his righteousness actions
Isaiah 64:6 “All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a filthy rags; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.”
- He can’t appeal to personal ignorance
Romans 1:20 “His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse.”
- He can’t Appeal To His “Good Heart”
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable”
The guilty sinner awaits the declaration of the Holy Judge: Innocent or guilty. Eternal reward or eternal damnation.
Justification is a gracious act of God by which He declared a sinner righteous.
How does that happen?
3.JUSTIFICATION IS A GRACIOUS ACT OF GOD BY WHICH HE DECLARES A SINNER SOLELY RIGHTEOUS THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS
How can a sinful man who stands condemned by his sin before a Holy Judge hear the words, “I declare you innocent and you are eternally free”?
When you place your faith in Jesus, God credits His righteousness to your account.
2 Corinthians 5:21 “He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
While we are guilty and deserving of Gods wrath to be poured upon us for all eternity, through His death on the cross, Christ made a way for His righteousness to be credited to us. When God looks at us, He sees Jesus!
The punishment that we deserve, He took for us on the cross.
And when we believe the Gospel by faith, we’re eternally justified.
Romans 5:1 “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”
Romans 8:1 “There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus”
Justification by faith is why we’re accepted before God – not our efforts, not our works, not our achievements BUT because we’ve believed by faith that Jesus is who He says He is and has done for us what He said He would do!