Justified by faith


By Timothy Johnson

Preacher’s Point

Many people believe heaven is something that is yours to lose. In other words, everyone is headed there until they do something dastardly, like murder, rape, or child molesting.

Others tend to think that eternal life is something you gain, like a reward. Opinions of what is necessary to attain the goal vary, including, but not limited to, a life of service, being a good person, or performing some sort of religious ritual, such as baptism.

The problem with both views is that neither solves the sin problem. Everyone who has never committed a heinous sin has committed other sins. Let us face it: every one of us has done something wrong; all of us have broken some of God’s commandments.

In the second scenario, someone who helps out at the local food pantry can still be a thief. Regardless of how many good deeds a person does, it does not erase the bad they have done; we all remain guilty of something.

Salvation, justification, redemption, and eternal life do not come because we have not done something horrible or because we do a lot of good. Romans 3:28 clearly states this: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

It would be good to point out here that God is looking far deeper than what we do – He’s looking deep into our hearts at what we want to do, what we love, and what our priorities are.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us a glimpse of how deeply God looks into our hearts and what God sees as sin. Matthew 5:28, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

I can honestly say I have never cheated on my wife, but I cannot say I am innocent of what Jesus says in this verse. Matthew 5:28 makes everyone guilty of adultery (the verse applies to women looking at men as well).

The fact that thinking without doing is a sin also applies to the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17). Just before bringing up adultery in Matthew 5:28, Jesus brings up that being angry at someone without a cause is the same as murder (Matthew 5:21-22).

It appears that all of us are worse than we thought.

The commandments within Scripture are not there to save us; they are there to show us we are guilty. Romans 3:20, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Also, Romans 7:7, “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not know sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”

We are in a mess. How do we get rid of the guilt? Earlier, I used Romans 3:28 to show that the law cannot save us. Now, we need to look at the rest of the verse. Notice the verse speaks of being “justified by faith.”

Being justified means being cleared of all charges; in other words, we are no longer guilty. A play on words I like to use to express the meaning of justified is this: Justified = Just as if I never sinned.

How, then, are we “justified by faith”?

Another passage can help explain this. Romans 5:8-9, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

In this passage, we are “justified by his blood.” Put the two passages together. God is telling us we are justified by faith in his blood.

Salvation by faith in His blood is why John the Baptist pointed at Jesus and yelled, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

The Bible tells us that blood must be shed to erase sin (Hebrews 9:22). It also tells us that the Old Testament animal sacrifices did not remove the sin. (Hebrews 10:4).

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the only blood God the Father will accept. Once faith is applied, sin is washed away, and justification is ours (Romans 3:25).

Having faith that you have partaken in a religious ceremony or ritual, or the fact that you are a decent person, or that you have not done something dastardly will only send you to hell. If any of these can save someone, then why did Christ die, and what do the words “justified by faith” and “justified by His blood” mean?

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

Preacher Johnson is the Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website: www.preachers-point.com; Email: [email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-Preacher-Johnson-101171088326638. All Scripture KJV.

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