Romans 3:24 – being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, NKJV
The topic of grace is an extensive topic. I know that I can’t exhaust it, nor can I completely cover it. But I do want to make the case for grace. It’s free, it’s precious, it’s abundant, and it’s available to every believer!
My last blog was about grace coming through Jesus. Today, I want to tackle the truth of justification by grace through faith in Jesus. The Vine’s Dictionary explains justification in this manner:
Justification has three distinct meanings, and seems best described comprehensively as “a concrete expression of righteousness;” it is a declaration that a person or thing is righteous…
According to this verse, and the definition of justification, we can conclude that we are made righteous before God by His favor which He extended to us through Jesus! We were trapped in our sin with no hope of ever being set free, but God, through grace, and because of His love for us, made us righteous. In the Amplified Bible this scripture reads:
and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus, Romans 3:24 – AMP
It’s important to note that justification is an important reality to the believer. Each of us came to the Father burdened with sin. Some of us had so much guilt over what we had done, what we should have never done, and what we wish we could do differently. Yet, God’s grace is made available to us to even deal with the guilt of sin. That’s pretty powerful! Paul made this statement:
Although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 1:13-14 – NKJV
Paul had much to be ashamed of, knowing that he persecuted believers, watched Stephen get stoned to death, and declared war on the believers. And here he is saying, he obtained mercy and exceedingly abundant grace in Christ. This is probably why he could write so poetically about grace because he understood the richness of what he received from God through grace. I know of no scriptures in the Bible, off hand, where Paul repeatedly said, “I’m so sorry for what I did! I can’t believe I was so blind and persecuted people who believed in Jesus!” He saw God’s grace for what it was, a lifeline, and he hung on tightly!
Paul wrote to the church in Rome. He reminded them that they had been justified by faith, a faith that gave them access to the grace of God:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2 -NKJV
Grace must be accessed. It’s freely given, but we must believe that it is available to us and we have access to it. When we trust Jesus for salvation, grace is activated. Not just grace to be saved, but grace to be made righteous, and much more! This is clearly seen in a familiar verse, that I will share from the Amplified Bible:
For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. Ephesians 2:8-9 -AMP
God’s remarkable compassion and favor is what draws us to Christ. It’s His undeserved, gracious gift of grace that brings us to a state or place of salvation. We can’t brag about it as something we have done, because it’s as a result of His favor towards mankind, and it is free! If we don’t gain any other understanding about grace, we must realize that God gives it to us even though we don’t deserve it.
I’ve talked with people who just won’t except God’s grace. They feel so unworthy of His grace and mercy. They believe they can never be redeemed and there is no hope for them. But this is so wrong, and my heart aches for them. Too many people are living their lives in a state of unworthiness. News flash! At one time we were unworthy.
Paul wrote in Ephesians 2, that we were just like everybody else was, at one time in our lives. We walked according to the world and the way things were done in the world. We were more concerned about fulfilling the desires of our flesh and our mind; and we were children of wrath and sons of disobedience. Paul went on to say that at one time we were without Christ, without hope, and without God. That’s a pretty miserable place to be!
But God’s great loved prompted Him to pour out grace and mercy, instead of judgment and punishment. He not only wants to save people, but He also wants to free us of the guilt of sin, declare us righteous and free from the penalty of sin, and favor us with His glory! Embracing grace is the best thing that we can do for ourselves, and when we realize the greatness of it all, it will radically change our perspective and our relationship with God! Wonderful Jesus!