Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Consider how the word justify is used in the following statement: “I just don’t know how we can justify the cost of a brand-new football stadium.” This example shows us how the word justify is used nowadays. To justify means to “give a good reason for, rationalize or defend.”
However, God uses the word justify in another way. In Romans 5:1, justify means “to declare not guilty. It’s like a judge who looks at a guilty criminal and says to him, “You’re free to go!” That’s a miscarriage of justice, isn’t it? It seems so until we realize that God, the Father, took our every attempt to rationalize our wrongdoing and every lame excuse for sin and stacked them all on the broad shoulders of Jesus. Jesus took that whole mess and paid for it on the cross. In its place, he gives us innocence and peace with him, and, just as importantly, he gives us the faith to believe it.
Through that faith, there is peace between you and God. Whether you die today or years from now, the gates of heaven are open for you. Whether you feel emotionally at peace or not, whether your body is strong or falling apart, whether you are ill or healthy, God still declares you innocent through Jesus. And he still maintains that peace between himself and you by faith.
Today, whether you feel peace in response to these truths or not, believe this, “Since you have been justified through faith, you have peace with God through your Lord Jesus Christ.”
Heavenly Father, when I am troubled by my sin and wonder how I might appear in you sight, direct me to the cross of my Savior, Jesus, where the full price of my sin was paid. Fill my heart with the peace of forgiveness. Assure me by faith in Christ that you declare me to be holy in your sight and an heir of heaven. Amen.
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