This past weekend, Pastor Jeff Manion took us to court to explain the idea of “justification.” Justification is a legal transaction when the defendant is declared guilty but someone else steps in to pay their penalty thus causing the judge to declare them innocent.
The Bible teaches we’ve all sinned (Romans 3.23) and are guilty of breaking away from God’s character for which the penalty is death (Romans 6.23). But God presented his own Son to fulfill our sentence. Our guilt is punished on the cross in the body of Christ—the Righteous for the unrighteous.
Justification is a legal transaction and it requires an action from both parties. Jesus’ part was going to the cross in my place. My sin and punishment transfers to him and, astonishingly, his righteousness transfers to me (2 Corinthians 5.21). God gives Jesus to be my substitute and nothing goes down on my record.
My part in the legal transaction is to say, “I accept his generous offer.” Just the fact that Jesus died in my place isn’t enough. I must acknowledge I personally accept it to complete the transaction.
Today, consider this overwhelmingly generous offer. If you haven’t completed the transaction by telling God you accept what Jesus did for you, then simply tell him. If you’ve accepted the offer, thank God you only need to receive it once to cover all of your sins—past, present, and future (1 Peter 3.18). If you did this today, or need help in making that decision, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or text “decision time” to 616.421.4232.