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Justification is Free, by God’s Grace, through Christ’s Redemption
Romans 3:24: ‘And are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.’
Some sentences are packed with meaning and this is a prime example. These words are a forceful explanation of what the wonderful truth of God’s justification is all about. Virtually every word in the sentence is important, even the word ‘and’ that begins the text, ‘and’ linking justification with the universality and guilt of sin that Paul has set out in the famous previous verse. We are unrighteous sinners in the sight of God. There seems to be no hope for us, yet Paul says ‘and,’ not ‘but.’ Never stop with man’s depravity for that leads to despair.
Depravity must be joined to the offer of the extraordinary grace of God that freely justifies every favoured sinner who believes.
You might have come here today as low as you’ve ever been in your life, feeling your sin and guilt, conscious you have sinned against much blessing and knowledge, thinking that there can be no hope for you. God has brought you here to hear these words: ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:23, 24).
This justification is received just one way – by trusting in God.
It is not given to those who have faith in faith. No free-floating faith has ever justified anyone. As I often tell you, ‘Your faith didn’t die for you. It didn’t bear your sin and guilt. It didn’t rise again on the third day.’ In what, in whom are you believing? Our text ends with the words ‘by Christ Jesus,’ by what he is, and by what he has done for those who trust in him. You accept him as the Son of God and his finished work as the Lamb of God. You believe that that work of his was adequate, more than that, that it was super-abundant, once for always, final and all-sufficient for the whole of eternity.
Let no one deceive you about this. To be justified freely by God, to be declared righteous and know that all your sins have been forgiven – past sins, present sins and future sins – you must believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ. All your hopes now as well as in the future and even when you finally stand before him as your Judge – they are focused on our Saviour’s life and his death and resurrection. He is your all sufficient hope. So there is a free justification.
- Geoff Thomas
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