In our prior thinking about the doctrine of justification, we have noted that this truth once for all settles our legal status before God as Christian believers.
Since Christ bore our sins in His self-sacrifice on the cross, God holds no charges against us. As stated in prior weeks, we are once and for all acquitted before God and once and for all accepted by Him. Satan, the accuser, cannot successfully bring any charge against us, since as Romans 8:33 puts it, “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.”
On the basis of Christ’s saving death, people of faith are counted innocent of sin, although all of us have sinned and do now sin.
Peace with God
This week we reflect on some of the results that justification produces for Christian believers. We might say with biblical authority that justification brings us peace with God. Romans 5:9 assures us, saying, “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!.”
Through the saving death of Christ, a sinner’s enmity with God is replaced with peace with God. As Romans 8:1 puts it, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
The fact of justification means that as Christians, we have no basis for entertaining guilt feelings toward God. It goes deeper than how we feel.
While guilt feelings have no basis in fact, believers have no basis for real guilt. God has forgiven us fully and accepted us with finality based on the saving work of His Son. There is a “once for all-ness” about a believer’s salvation that is just as firm as the “once for all-ness” about the saving death of Christ.
‘Paid in full’
As a result of Christ’s self-sacrifice on the cross, repentant sinners who trust Him for salvation have their sin debt before God fully satisfied. It is as if God takes the heavenly ledger of all of a believer’s sins and writes across it, “Paid in full.”
Full and irrevocable acceptance by God means that His children possess an assured expectation of glory. Romans 8:29–30 contains one of the Bible’s most explicit promises about this expectation, saying, “For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and whom He justified He also glorified.”
God’s justification of those who trust the saving work of Christ will stand the test of time and eternity.