To talk about justification and how it leads to holiness, we must first agree on one truth. Every human being who has walked the earth’s face has sinned except Jesus Christ. Romans 3:23 backs up this truth as it says all have sinned.
The truth above means that everyone should be condemned by right as everyone is guilty. However, through justification, we obtain holiness so that we are no longer convicted criminals. This is one of the greatest miracles ever. How does justification lead to holiness? Continue reading to find out.
Justification comes from the root word “justify,” meaning “to make or declare righteous in God’s sight.” From this definition, we can explain justification as a declaration of innocence of sin. Who declares us free? God and He set us free from the cause of the law, the death sentence.
Grasping the idea of justification is impossible for the natural human mind. This is because it doesn’t make sense that you become justified just by accepting Jesus Christ as your savior. However, once you understand the concept that you have become blameless before God, you enjoy a new realm of peace.
How Justification by Faith Works
The first thing we must understand about justification by faith is that “justification” is God’s gift. Secondly, we must agree that this gift is available to everyone. Thirdly, not all humans will tap into the benefits of this gift.
These facts bring us to the question, how does justification by faith work to bring us holiness? John 1:12 says, to them that believed Him, He gave the power to become sons of God. Romans 8:1 takes it further by saying there is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The second verse of the same chapter explains that we have been delivered from the law of sin and death.
In other words, the way to partake in the gift of justification is to believe in Jesus Christ. The moment you trust and accept Him, you receive His righteousness. How is this even possible?
Jesus Christ is the only guiltless individual ever to walk the earth. But scripture says that He took our sins upon Himself on the cross. In performing this sacrifice, He took our place on the cross. We should have been the ones nailed to the cross, but because of His sacrifice, we no longer have to suffer the rigors. Romans 10:9 explains that we only need to confess with our mouths and believe with our hearts, and we will be saved.
This is where justification by faith comes from. Now, we need to have faith in the Word that Jesus Christ died and rose again, and He is our savior. As soon as you believe and confess this truth, you receive justification.
How does Justification Lead to Holiness?
Holiness is the state of being “holy,” and it is an attribute of God. So far, we have established the truth that it is impossible to attain justification without faith. In the same way, we cannot become holy without justification.
Immediately we accept Jesus, we cease to be under the law of the flesh. As such, we adopt the very nature of God. We are caught up in Jesus’ sinless nature because He paid the price for us.
The Holy Spirit now resides in us and gives us the power to live above sin. By default, we have a new nature at this point. Does this mean that we do not fall into sin occasionally? Of course not, but being sinful is no longer our nature. Peter invites us to strive towards holiness as our Father is holy (1 Peter 1:16).
Note that holiness at this point is not of works. It is a result of God’s grace and Spirit in us, according to Ephesians 2:1-6. Because of this, we only need to believe to attain holiness.
Aren’t we all grateful for the gift of justification? How else could we have met the high standards of the law? We don’t have to worry about the law because God has brought us into a new dimension through His grace and Spirit. Like Him, we are now holy, the holiness we received through justification by faith.
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