The Definition of Justification

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The Definition of Justification provides a brief overview of the biblical meaning of justification.

The Definition of Justification

Justification is the legal act of God by which He declares a sinner righteous in His sight and deems our sins as forgiven and Jesus’ righteousness as belonging to us.

The verb justify (Gk. dikaioo) in the New Testament means to declare righteous (See Bauer, Arndt & Gingrich p. 197). This declaration by God means the Christian has no penalty to pay for sin - past, present or future; and God sees Jesus’ righteousness as belonging to the Christian.

  1. We see the declaration in Romans 5:1, “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

  2. We see that God deems our sins as forgiven in Romans 8:1, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

  3. We see that God regards Jesus’ righteousness as belonging to us in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” and Philippians 3:9, “And be found in Him (Jesus), not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.”

Justification is entirely God’s work. It is not the work of man. Justification is a once for all time declaration. Once God has declares us as justified, we are seen as righteous in His sight. Justification has no degrees. We are either justified or we are not justified.

For more information, click on justification and sanctification.

Justification and Sanctification


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