Acquitted: The Complete Forgiveness of Justification

Imagine standing in a heavenly courtroom where every detail of your life is under scrutiny. Every misstep and error, every sin you've ever committed, is in the open before the Judge of all. The weight of the evidence against you pushes you towards despair. There is no hope. But then, in an unexpected twist, the Judge, with a stroke of pure grace, looks at you with compassion and declares, "You are exempt from punishment." This is the essence of justification – an act of divine grace that transforms our relationship with God and liberates us from the burden of our transgressions.

In the many theological concepts revealed in Scripture, few threads shine as brightly or bring as much solace as the doctrine of justification. It is the golden key that releases the heavy chains of guilt and swings open the gates to a life of freedom and peace with God.

Romans 3:23-24 captures the simple truth of justification. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Despite our failure to meet God's glorious standard, we are justified freely by His grace through the redemptive work of Christ Jesus. Justification is not a result of our merit; it's a gift granted through Christ's ultimate sacrifice. God presented him as the mercy seat by his blood, through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time so that he would be just and justify the one who has faith in Jesus, Romans 3.25-26.

To be justified is to be acquitted. It's the legal opposite of condemnation. When God justifies us, He doesn't just declare us innocent but righteous. Our debt of sin has been paid in full through the blood of Jesus. This transformation isn't gradual—it's immediate and complete, Colossians 1.12-14. The instant we move in faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice by responding to the conditions of grace, we shift from a state of complete alienation from God to one of total forgiveness, Colossians 2.12-15.

Some wrestle with the idea that justification means to be made righteous, envisioning it as a subjective process reliant on personal obedience and good works. However, this perspective misses the very heart of the gospel. Justification isn't about us becoming righteous through our actions but about being declared righteous because of Jesus' action at Calvary. It's not an internal transformation of character but an external adjustment in our legal standing before God.

Embracing this truth is like hearing a divine pronouncement echoing throughout the heavens: "You are exempt from punishment!" It's a proclamation that resonates in the heart of every believer, offering a peace that surpasses human understanding. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5.1. This pronouncement does not dismiss our sins but addresses the guilt by lifting the condemnation that our sins rightly deserved.

The splendor of justification is that it is synonymous with complete forgiveness. God doesn't simply erase individual misdeeds; He forgives comprehensively, bestowing upon us a new identity as someone who is forgiven. This state of grace is not precarious. Instead, it is enduring. As long as we remain or abide in Christ, John 15.1-8, our justification is secure—a perpetual source of comfort and assurance.

So, if you sometimes wrestle with doubts about your salvation or feel burdened by the weight of past mistakes, cling to the promise of Romans 8.1: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Let this truth fill you with unspeakable joy and deep gratitude.
Through Christ, you are not merely partially forgiven; you are wholly justified. Embrace this astounding gift of grace wholeheartedly, and let it propel you to live a life that mirrors the depth of God's love and the vastness of His mercy. In the courtroom of divine justice, grace has spoken the final word, and that word is "justified."

Matthew Allen

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