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As I pondered this beautiful work of art by Cherry Ashen Fargo, I was reminded once again, that it is God Who makes all things new. This Truth was reinforced while I was singing my confession of faith along with Hillsong Worship’s This I Believe (The Creed)..this drew my heart to a word study of the word, justifies, from Romans 8:31-33:
NASB: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies.
Amplified: What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?] He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?]
NLT: What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself.
Phillips: In face of all this, what is there left to say? If God is for us, who can be against us? He that did not hesitate to spare his own Son but gave him up for us all—can we not trust such a God to give us, with him, everything else that we can need? Who would dare to accuse us, whom God has chosen? The judge himself has declared us free from sin. Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us!
Wuest: What then shall we say to these things? In view of the fact that God is on our behalf, who could be against us? Indeed, He who His own Son did not spare, but on behalf of us all delivered Him up, how is it possible that He shall not with Him in grace give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s chosen-out ones? God, the One who justifies?
Young’s Literal: What, then, shall we say unto these things? if God [is] for us, who [is] against us? He who indeed His own Son did not spare, but for us all did deliver him up, how shall He not also with him the all things grant to us? Who shall lay a charge against the choice ones of God? God [is] He that is declaring righteous.
Justifies in Greek is dikaióō, which means to deem to be right, acquits, vindicates, frees. Note dikaióō, is in the present tense, indicating this is what God always does—He is the justifying God. His nature is to justify sinners, creating saints. Dikaióō describes the act by which a man is brought into a right state of relationship to God. Dikaióō is a legal term having to do with the law and the courtroom, where it represented the legally binding verdict of the judge. Dikaióō ends in “-oo” which, in Greek, brings out that which a person is. Therefore dikaióō brings out the fact that a person is righteous. It means to declare the rightness of something or someone.
Bible Scholar Leon L. Morris has said, “Dikaióō is a forensic or legal term with the meaning “acquit.” It is the normal word to use when the accused is declared, “Not guilty.” In salvation, dikaióō describes the legal act whereby God declares the believing sinner righteous on the basis of the blood of Christ. Stated another way, justification is not a process, but is an act that occurs once and need not be repeated. It is something God does, not man. Justification is not subject to recall so that you have to get it over and over again. Justification is not a change wrought by God in us, but a change of our relation to God. Justification describes a person’s status in the sight of the law, not the condition of his or her character.”
Pastor Warren W. Wiersbe writes: “Do not confuse justification and sanctification. Sanctification is the process whereby God makes the believer more and more like Christ. Sanctification may change from day to day. Justification never changes. When the sinner trusts Christ, God declares him righteous, and that declaration will never be repealed. Being justified is once and for all time, and as such defines the believer’s permanent state. Just as you may not be tried for the same crime again after being acquitted, God’s justification means you will never be tried or condemned by Him again for your sins—past, present, or future. This is good news indeed. To reiterate, justification is not an act of God that makes us righteous, but is an act of God that declares us righteous based on what Christ accomplished on Calvary.”
Greek Scholar Kenneth S. Wuest states: “The words justify, justification, righteous, righteousness, just, right, meet, are all translations of the same Greek root. The verb justify is dikaióō, the noun righteousness, dikaiosune, the adjective righteous, dikaios. This means that all these words have a general meaning that is common to all of them, even though their individual meaning may differ slightly. This again means that there is a definite and vital connection between the act of justifying and the righteousness of the individual who has been justified. Justification, dikaióō, is the act of God removing from the believing sinner, his guilt and the penalty incurred by that guilt, and bestowing a positive righteousness, Christ Jesus Himself in Whom the believer stands, not only innocent and uncondemned, but actually righteous in point of law for time and for eternity. The words justify, justification, righteous, righteousness, as used of man in his relation to God, have a legal, judicial basis. God is the Judge, man the defendant. God is the standard of all righteousness. The white linen curtains of the court of the Tabernacle, symbolized the righteousness which God is, the righteousness which God demands of any human being who desires to fellowship with Him, and the righteousness which God provides on the basis of the acceptance on the sinner’s part, of the Lord Jesus who perfectly satisfied the just demands of God’s holy law which we broke. A just person therefore is one who has been thus declared righteous.”
The verdict is final. The case is never going to be re-tried—irrevocable. On that we can rest—we are justified on the basis of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. It is a blessing to know that I am, right now, under the completely sufficient imputed righteousness of Christ. Because I have placed my trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, I am redeemed by His precious blood. The threat of failure, judgment, and condemnation has been removed. Knowing that God’s love for me and approval of me will never be determined by my performance is the most encouraging promise to which I cling. Truly, God makes all things new.
Lord Jesus, thank You for the free gift of salvation, that we are justified on the basis of Your finished work on the Cross. Thank You that, right now, we are under the completely sufficient imputed righteousness of Christ. Because we have placed our trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, we are redeemed by Your precious blood. The threat of failure, judgment, and condemnation has been removed. Knowing that God’s love for us and approval of us will never be determined by our performance is the most encouraging promise to which we cling. We love You, Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Look Up—meditate on Romans 8:31-33 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look In—as you meditate on Romans 8:31-33 … pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: “Because God is_________, I will_____________.”
Look Out—as you meditate on Romans 8:31-33 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.
* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ