Justification – The Confidence of the Ungodly Christian!


Jacqui and I have, for the past few weeks, been compulsively and rather embarrassingly hooked on the latest reality TV show coming out of America – True Beauty. 10 “beautiful” people are judged not only on their outward appearance but also, and unbeknownst to them, on their “inner beauty”. It is, of course, just another ugly display of the reality of human nature. We can keep up appearances for only so long. Eventually, usually sooner than later, our true nature is revealed and we are exposed for who we are.

The same is true when it comes to the things of God. We can pretend for a while that there is nothing wrong with us but it soon becomes clear that we are what the Bible calls “sinners”. We may be able to hide it from others but God is not fooled. The question that we immediately ask is, “how can God be pleased with me if I am like this? What could ever make Him think of me as righteous?”

On Wednesday night many of you attended our evening lecture by Dr. James White on the topic of Justification – the question of how we can be right with God because of what Jesus has done for us. James took us through many texts in the Bible, including great passages we have already looked at together in Galatians, and showed us that God justifies us (that is, He declares us to be righteous) even when we are sinners! It’s an incredible truth that we must do nothing except simply trust Jesus! As Dr. White reminded us, Jesus has done everything to allow us to be confident in front of God, despite knowing our “True Beauty” or, rather, our “True Ugliness”. Paul tells us:

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our sin should make us enemies of God but if we have faith in Jesus, if we trust Him and not ourselves, then we have peace with God! But at the same time we are still sinners. It’s a real tension, isn’t it? We still see our sin but we also trust Jesus to justify us. The great Reformer Martin Luther recognised this tension and coined a phrase that summed it all up – “simul justus et peccator” – “At the same time justified and a sinner”.

We all know that we would never win the True Beauty competition. We are sinners. But the great news of justification by faith alone is that, in Christ, we are all right with God who justifies the ungodly (Rom 4:5)! Will you keep trusting Him and not yourself for your righteousness? And will you keep thinking hard about this key theme of justification so that you learn to love Jesus all the more because of what He has done for us?

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.

Copyright © 2015 St. Augustines Anglican Church, Neutral Bay. Icons by Wefunction. Designed by Woo Themes