“It is God who justifies.” Romans 8:33
This is a direct statement. God justifies; you are not justified by your works, your title, or position at work. You are not justified by your knowledge, wisdom, or even your church attendance. You are not justified because you have listened to all the podcasts from the greatest teachers of our time. You cannot justify yourself because it is God who justifies you.
The word justification means to be declared righteous in the sight of God. Most of us long for this right standing, and we all desperately need it. Most of us try different things trying to obtain this goal of right standing before God. What do you try?
On the other hand, some of us may think we have this right standing based on what we do. This is called self-justification. This takes what we do to try to justify ourselves and makes that thing a god in our lives. Self-justification isn’t good enough because it is God who justifies.
If all we try to do isn’t good enough, then what is good enough? We are justified by faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. If we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, then we will live transformed lives based on our new hearts. Jesus is the one who died in our place for our sins to satisfy the requirements of the law on our behalf. It truly is God who justifies.
Scott Mitchell is the lead pastor at Mars Hill Everett.