"Ye Are Justified!"
I Corinthians 6:11
Perhaps the most important fact about the character of God revealed in Holy Scripture is the one which men and women most presumptuously ignore, the fact that God is just. Justice and truth are the habitation of his throne (Psa. 97:2). It is not possible for a person to understand the works of God in providence, redemption, grace, or judgment until he has some understanding of the justice of God.
Because the Lord our God is just, he must deal with all men upon the grounds of strict justice. The justice of God is the rectitude and righteousness of his character which compels him to deal with all rational creatures in strict accordance with their deserts. Justice and holiness are as essential to the character of God as love and mercy. The holy Lord God can no more lay aside his justice in dealing with men than he can cease being omnipotent.
Because God is just, the only way he can save a guilty sinner, the only way he can bring a sinner into an eternal union of life with himself, is if he can make that sinner quiltless and sinless in the eyes of his own law and justice. This work of God's matchless grace, by which he declares guilty sinners to be guiltless and sinless is what the Apostle Paul calls "justification" (Rom. ; , 18). And when God declares that a person is guiltless and sinless, perfectly righteous before him, that person really is, in the eyes of God, perfectly righteous. Our righteousness before God is not just a merciful supposition. It is a blessed reality in Christ! We have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (II Cor. ). Every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is completely justified, perfectly righteous in the sight of God.
How is this great work of justification accomplished? This is the question of the ages. "How can a man be justified with God?" (Job 25:4). How can God be just and yet justify the ungodly? Find the answer to that question and you have learned the gospel. If you have not found the answer to that question, you do not yet know the gospel. How does God justify sinners? Paul tells us that we are "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."