Have you ever been tempted to cover something up to keep yourself out of trouble? Do you remember the feelings you had when you were trying to figure out how to get out of it? The feelings of guilt, fear, remorse, anger that it happened to you or that you made a mistake? It doesn’t have to be something earth shattering to make the point it can be something simple but the emotions and feelings are still the same. I remember when me and my buddy were home hanging out while our girls were out. We had prepared some food and I was grabbing the salt shaker. Now my wife has a set of dishes that everything matches plates, bowls, mugs, you get the picture. Well when I grabbed the salt shaker it slipped from my hand and took a big and noticeable chip out of it. Me and my boy were like, Oh no! Right away we started thinking we’re gonna be in trouble. He said, ‘Hey dude just hide it. She’ll never know.” To that I said, “Oh no she’ll know! I told him I would rather tell her what happened and get her a new one then carry the guilt of keeping a secret and the fear of her finding out and being disappointed in me. When she got home I told her what happened. She didn’t even make a big deal about it. She said, “Honey that’s alright no big deal. We can just try to fix that one or get a replacement.” I felt justified. I felt free of guilt, shame, fear, and remorse because I wasn’t trying to hide anything from my wife and there was nothing standing between us in our relationship. I came clean and received a clean slate. While that may be a small scale incident it can speak volumes to us in our relationship with God. To be justified means to qualify as bail or surety, to judge, regard, or treat as righteous and worthy of salvation, to set free from an obligation or the consequences of guilt. Justification is simply “the act of God declaring men free from guilt and acceptable to Him” You and I weren’t built to carry guilt. We have a accuser who does his best to try and keep us from God by telling us to hide things from Him. By telling us we don’t deserve forgiveness or a second chance. When we choose to believe that accuser we run far from God because we feel guilt, shame, fear, and remorse. We don’t realize all that God has done for us it leaves us empty and we have a deep longing just to be justified. If I would have kept that little secret from my wife it would have damaged our relationship because I would have had to operate in guilt and fear. It would have put a strain on our fellowship and every time we sat down to eat I would be waiting to hear, “Would you pass the salt? Hey where is the salt shaker?” And then I would be dealing with breaking her trust and maybe even her doubting my love for her or her trust in me. I chose to be up front and honest and to deal with it so that the accuser couldn’t step in and drive a wedge in our relationship. The accuser tries to and is rather successful at keeping people far from God. I only hope that we would all open our eyes and realize God is closer than we think. Ask yourself these questions. “Who does God justify through faith? The ungodly! Who did Christ die for? The ungodly! That means those without God. Ungodly. Why does God justify the ungodly? Why did Christ die for the ungodly? Because that’s the only kind of person there was. The clearest message of Jesus and the deepest message of the Bible is “God’s mercy, not our merit.” When it comes to our salvation we are neither saved by our merits nor justified by works. We are justified, declared righteous before God, solely through faith in Jesus Christ because of God’s mercy and Christ’s merit. We walk through this life carrying guilt, fear, shame, and remorse and more importantly a deep longing and desire Just to be Justified. When we put our trust in God Hope rises up from within us! Sin may have spoiled our glory but God’s glory is far greater. We just need to be honest with Him and admit our need for Him. The accuser can’t accuse us of something and hold it over our heads if God already knows about it. We can keep a short account with God. Let’s live our lives by trusting God so much that we don’t give accuser anything ammo. It is God’s mercy, not our merit that puts us in right standing with God. Not only do we need to forgive ourselves we must also be forgiven by God. Many times we are unable to forgive ourselves until we have received God’s forgiveness. Christ gave His life on the cross to take our place. He became our substitute. He took our penalty and punishment. We can’t be good enough to make up for all of the wrong. Christ died to offer you and I a second chance. We have to get past the guilt, fear, shame, and remorse and receive God’s forgiveness. God considers us righteous because of Jesus’ death. So God has forgiven our sin. This means that we will not suffer punishment from God for our sin. Our salvation is complete. We become God’s friends, although we used to be his enemies. This happens through Jesus’ death. God raised Jesus to life. And the result is that we too have a new life (Romans 6:4). Because of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Christ’s death satisfies God’s wrath for sin. Christ’s resurrection offers us new life and hope in Christ. Both are reliant on our willingness to come clean with God. When we can shout with joy about the things that God has done for us. God sent Jesus Christ to die on our behalf and to bring us back to Him. Our joy is founded in everything that God has done for us. He has made us his friends. Joy is the inner animation of the soul and it comes from being justified. It comes from having the guilt lifted from us, the absence of fear, the removal of shame, and the forgiveness that melts away remorse and a hope that goes beyond this life. Check out Romans 5:1-11. Be encouraged!
Just 2 B Justified