What is justification?

by | Jun 27, 2018 | 01 Podcasts, What is the Gospel

What is justification? Part 2 in a 4-week Bible study on “What is the Gospel?” from the podcast Wednesday in the Word with Krisan Marotta


  1. Death is the phenomena of human existence where everything physical & spiritual breaks down. It’s the process of decay and corruption.  Life is the opposite of death; tendency toward good in all of human existence
  2. Life automatically and inevitably flows from holiness.  Death automatically and inevitably flows from sin.
  3. God is the sole source of life, because He alone can give holiness.
  4. When we cut ourselves off from God (the source of Life), we inevitably experience death.

The Problem: Rebellion

In the photos below, my right hand represents God and my left hand (wearing the watch) represents mankind.

Fellowhip - Justification Explained | WednesdayintheWord.com
Before, the Fall, we are metaphorically face to face with God.
  • Before the fall we are fellowship with God and God is granting us Life (as we defined it).
  • We are metaphorically face to face with God.
Rebellion - Justiifcation Explained | WednesdayintheWord.com
Mankind rebels and metaphorically turns its back on God
  • When we rebel, it is as if we turn our backs on God.
  • The first consequence of our rebellion is we now experience death.
 Wrath - Justiifcation Explained | WednesdayintheWord.com
In response God metaphorically turns His back on us.
  • The second consequence to our rebellion is God’s wrath.
  • The rebellion is wrong and deserves punishment.
  • Our crime incurs a judicial penalty that must be paid.
  • Until God’s justice is satisfied, He will not grant Life.

Romans 1

In Romans 1:18-32, Paul makes these 3 claims: 1) mankind rebelled; 2) the consequence of that rebellion is death (as we defined it) and 3) God responds to that rebellion by abandoning mankind to the custody of death.

  • We rebelled (Romans 1:21; Romans 1:22-23; Romans 1:25).
  • Therefore we experience death (Romans 1:21-22; Romans 1:24; Romans 1:27).
  • and God abandons us to death (Romans 1:24; Romans 1:26; Romans 1:28).

What is Justification?

Justification - Justiifcation Explained | WednesdayintheWord.com
Once we are justified, God metaphorically turns back to us.
  • Justification is the forgiveness of our debt to justice which qualifies us to receive Life.
  • To be justified is to be in a position where God’s justice is satisfied.
  • None of us can justify ourselves by keeping the law.
  • Knowing and understanding God’s Law is not enough; we have to be the kind of people who can keep the Law (Romans 2:13-16).
Fellowship - Justification Explained | WednesdayintheWord.com
Return to fellowship
  • Justification is a gift from God.
  • Justification is based on God’s mercy.
  • Justification is made possible by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23-26).
  • God grants justification to those with saving faith.

For more detail and explanation, please listen to the podcast.

Next: What is saving faith and why is it so important?

Previous: What is life & death and why should I care?

Part of the series: What is the Gospel?

Photo by Julia Caesar on Unsplash

Podcast season 12, episode 2