The Two Sides of Justification

Simply put, justification is the act of God whereby he declares the one who believes in Jesus to be righteous in His sight. He accepts him as righteous not because of his own righteousness or works of righteousness, but because of the righteousness of God which he received as a gift the moment he believed in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior (Rom 3:28, 5:15-17).
There are two sides of justification. In order for a person to be acceptable before God, he must be forgiven of his sins and he must be perfectly righteous. We looked at one of those sides last week. We saw that Abraham believed God and it was accounted or credited to him for righteousness (Rom 4:1-5) – in other words, he was justified by grace through faith! In Romans 4:6-8, Paul cited David who wrote of the other side of justification, the forgiveness of sins. Paul said that David wrote about the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works (vs.6). Well, this speaks of the same side of justification – the imputation of righteousness, but the verses Paul quotes from Psalm 32, which Daivd wrote, speaks of the other side of justification. “Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.” So, justification includes the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believing sinner’s account, and the non-imputation of sin to his account. The sins of God’s people were imputed to Christ’s account Who died for those sins! Wow, what a salvation! 2 Corinthains 5:21 states it this way, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”