Defining Justification: What Does it Mean to be Justified?

When God created man, His desire was that we would have a relationship with Him. Genesis 3:8 tells us that God visited the Garden of Eden in the evening, as was His regular custom. He always came to fellowship with man because that was the original design.

Unfortunately, man fell and broke this relationship. Through this fall, every descendant of the first Adam was born into sin. The only way to reestablish the original relationship between God and man was through justification. 

What does it mean to be justified? Continue reading this post as we attempt to provide a clear definition based on scripture.

Defining Justification

Defining Justification
Justification is declaring a sinner righteous

In elementary language, justification is declaring a sinful person as righteous or just. Legally, it signifies acquittal regardless of the charges against an individual. To understand justification, we must first realize that none of us is free from sin naturally. By nature, we are sinful, even on our best behavior.

God took it upon Himself to declare us to be in right-standing with Him. To achieve this, He sent His only Son to take our place on the cross. Jesus Christ carried all our sins, every sin we had and would ever commit, upon Himself on the cross. By so doing, He replaced our sin with His righteousness.

It is challenging for the natural mind to grasp the fullness of justification. How can God change the verdict and label us righteous when we should be punished for sin? This is why you must understand that justification is a gift we did nothing to deserve. We must come to a place of faith in God with regard to justification. All we have to do to enjoy justification is believe in Jesus and trust Him to lead us.

Some Important Truths About Justification You Should Know

Justification is simply God’s declaration about sinners. One misconception about justification is that it makes one holy. No, it doesn’t. Instead, it is a declaration that you are not guilty before God despite your misgivings. Finding your way towards holiness is a process known as sanctification. 

That being said, here are some crucial truths about justification that you should know:

  • Keeping the law does not bring justification. Justification is not a result of our good works or keeping the commandments.
  • Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross made justification possible.
  • Rather than our righteousness, justification is a demonstration of God’s righteousness.
  • Justification is God’s free gift that we have received through faith in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice.

Jesus Christ already completed the work required for us to be justified on the cross. His blood was the price He paid (Romans 5:9), and the moment He was raised, our justification was complete (Romans 4:25).

God justifies every man by grace, but we can only access this justification through our faith in Jesus Christ. We must believe in God’s provision and accept that we can enjoy it regardless of who we are and what we have done. However, while God considers us unblemished and perfect, we must devote ourselves to doing right (Titus 3:14).

Debunking Misconceptions About Justification

Several Christians struggle with the idea of justification

Not everyone understands the concept of justification. While some Christians struggle with this concept, others have come up with wrong doctrines surrounding this topic. This section will attempt to debunk two important misconceptions about justification.

Good works contribute to your justification

Christians often believe that they have a part to play in their justification, and this part is doing “good works.” You have a role to play, but it has nothing to do with doing good works. All you need to do is believe Christ has done it on the cross. Your faith is not a “good work;” it is how you lay hold on the promise of justification.

Good works are not necessary once you are justified

Paul asked in Romans 6:1, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” He responds vehemently with “God forbid.” The fact that we are justified does not mean that we wouldn’t put in the effort to do good works. Good works are essential for our Kingdom. James clarifies this when he explains that “faith without works is dead.” While good works don’t make you justified, they are necessary in the Kingdom.


This post has explained justification, some truths about the concept, and debunked a few misconceptions. Do you have any questions or contributions? Kindly drop them in the comments section below.

Meanwhile, feel free to check out GodKulture to read through other inspiring posts for a Christian creative.

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