The other day as I was reading, I came across a reference to Romans 5:1, which reads, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…”
I heard it again on Easter in one of my favorite worship songs, “Beneath the Waters (I Will Rise).” The lyric reads, “No fear of condemnation/By faith I’m justified.”
I’ve heard this term many times. Justified. But I’ve realized recently that it doesn’t mean what I think it means.
In life, when we say we are “justified” in doing something, we mean that whatever we have done has been for a good or legitimate reason. For instance, if I know that every time I give my three-year-old a popsicle he leaves in on the couch, I would be justified in either not giving him more popsicles or making him eat them outdoors.
But that is not what it means to be justified through faith. This is so much more than being validated in our actions. This is being made righteous by God, because of the sacrifice Christ made for us. Christ truly paid our debt, and through this we can be justified by our faith in Him.
But that’s not even the best part. The best part is that there is nothing we can do or must do to earn this. It’s given freely by the God of this universe, who loves each of us as if we are the only one. All we need to do is have faith in Him and His goodness and righteousness, and this gift is ours for eternity.
The younger, crankier, more cynical me would have questioned this over and over again. I wouldn’t believe that such an amazing gift could just be free. But I have felt God move in my life and my heart and I know that what He wants most is me. Just me. Not my actions or my deeds, but my devotion and love.
And through my faith in Him, I’m saved. Romans 5:9 says, “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”
I needed to remind myself of this today, as things have been kind of rough. No matter how dark the day, this incredible truth endures forever.