Two Means of “Justification”

The dictionary defines the word “justify” to mean: “to defend or uphold as blameless or right; to declare guiltless; absolve; acquit.” When it comes to our soul’s condition, there are two very different ways to approach the business of justification. The first way is by means of the soul redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. When we humbly acknowledge our own sinfulness, and in true faith obey the commands of God, we are “justified by his blood” and “shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:9). Those who do not find real justification by God’s plan often follow another route that we refer to as “self justification.” This is not new. Many men, past and present, have made such efforts (Luke 10:29). Several common tricks are employed when folks try to justify themselves. They will often: 1) Ignore the problem. Some seem to think that if they don’t acknowledge their wrong, it will somehow disappear. It never does. 2) Deny the sin. Their “heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing” (Matt. 13: 15). The sin remains. 3) Make excuses. When their failures are discovered, they will frequently describe the extenuating circumstance that led to their sinful words or deeds. In reality, an excuse is an admission of fault, and does nothing to truly justify the sinner. 4) Blame others. This approach is as old as the very first sin. Adam blamed Eve (Gen. 3:12), and millions have imitated his fruitless effort to shift blame. Yes, others sin – and sometimes their sins have an impact or influence on us – but such things never justify us to go against God. 5) Blame God. Adam tried this, too. He was wrong, and so is everyone who tries this. God has always desired what is best for us and His laws are designed for our benefit (Deut. 6:24). We all need justification. Be careful not to be deceived by “self justification,” but, rather, seek true justification by obedience to God. – by Greg Gwin

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