When I came to this country I had to learn several new languages! The language of baseball, which I confess I have never really mastered, and the language of American football with all of its technical terms.
As I watched my first game of football (a Dallas Cowboys game) It would have been foolish for me to insist that the terminology be changed because I didn’t understand it. If you had been sitting next to me, you might have said, “John, let me explain what these terms mean!”
It is similar with key terms of the Christian faith. At first, words like “justification” may sound intimidating! But justification is a marvelous term. Don’t you agree that God is righteous? He is faithful, true, righteous and holy. In comparison, we are unrighteous, sinful and unholy. So how can we, as unrighteous people, reach God who is righteous? Our gracious God provides a way to for us to be brought into a right relationship with Himself through Jesus Christ. Isn’t that exciting?
Justification is a legal term. When you put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God declares you, a sinful, righteous person, as “not guilty”. And He does more! He actually credits you with the perfect righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ — here and now — making it possible for us to have a relationship with God and go to heaven.
As a justified follower of Christ, you don’t have to wonder or hope you’re “good enough” to make it to heaven on that future day of judgment. The verdict has already been pronounced by God. In the past you were guilty, spiritually dead in your sin. But now you are innocent and declared righteous. Justification is accomplished for us by God through Jesus Christ. It is the one of the great results of the Gospel. Paul writes, “It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33).