Justification is an important event that takes place when a person becomes a believer in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, justification is often misunderstood by well-meaning Christians who think that it is defined by the phrase, “Just as if I had never sinned.” In other words, they assume when a person trusts or puts their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord, then God sees them as being sinless. That idea or concept is not actually Biblically accurate. God always sees a person as they really are, a sinner in need of a Savior. This is where true justification enters into the picture. It is a one-time act of God!
The essence of justification is a declaration of a positional relationship by and with God, himself. Justification occurs only once! When an individual places his or her belief and trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, then God declares that person righteous. God doesn’t make a person righteous; that’s what Sanctification is all about. The Sanctification process will be discussed in next week’s Great New Question posting.
Finally, Justification is how a person achieves legal/adopted standing before God as sons/daughters and how God brings individuals into a loving family relationship with Him in the present and for all eternity. In fact, the really good news is that being justified by God makes us ‘Kids of God’s Kingdom’ and joint heirs with Christ. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Christians have been ending their prayers, “In Jesus name,” since Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven. Why have they been doing this is a good question. The simple answer is found several times in the Scriptures. In the Gospel of John 14:13&14 Jesus said, “I will do anything you ask in my name…. You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.” It is repeated by Jesus again in John 16:23 and in several other places. So it seems important that as Christians we take Jesus at His word.
It is important also to remember that Jesus is the only mediator between man and God the Father. (2 Timothy 2:5) Jesus is also our personal advocate with God as he speaks to the Father on our behalf (1 John 2:1). In addition, many times when we are troubled in spirit or overwhelmed by circumstances, the Holy Spirit actually hears our inner groaning’s and intercedes on our behalf. So we can conclude that it is both important and necessary that our prayers be offered to God in the name of Jesus if we want them to be answered.
But you might be thinking, what about those persons who aren’t Christians that are honestly seeking to have a relationship with God. This might include agnostics, atheists, those of all religions and all other non-believers. They wouldn’t know to pray in Jesus name, right? This is true. The good news is that God has promised to reveal Himself to those who diligently seek Him. God certainly hears the prayers of sinners that are truly wanting to be redeemed/saved, repent from their sinful ways and gain eternal life. God answers those prayers both in their hearts and minds. How? He points them to Jesus and the Scriptures.
That’s God’s’s amazing grace and gift of forgiveness and eternal life for all who accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. Is He your Savior? If not, what are you waiting for? Today is the day of salvation as no one knows if they have tomorrow.
The short answer is no, they don’t. There is no path to God as other religions propose. The world’s religions suggest that through self-sacrifice, good works and performing a variety of religious rites or rituals that a person can gain eternal life and know God. Jesus, who is fully God and fully man, Emmanuel, God with us, said,” I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father (God) except by me.” (John 14:6) Jesus is also the source of all truth, so what He said can be trusted.
The only way to a present and eternal relationship with God is to commit one’s life to Jesus as Savior and Lord, follow Him and obey His Commandments. He said,” The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and your neighbor as yourself.” He also said, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
Salvation is a gift of God, not something to be earned by human acts. The apostle Paul said in Romans 10:9-10,”If you confess with your mouth Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” This is the only way to God and to eternal life.
Finally, keep this in mind regarding all other religions. Religion can make a person think that they are better than others because they are ‘religious’ and self-righteous. Jesus called out the Pharisees for their hypocrisy because they had the outward appearance of being religious but their hearts were far from God. They trusted in the religion of the Law. However it only pointed out their sinfulness and hard-heartedness and was never intended to lead anyone to salvation. Christianity is the only way that leads to God.