The Doctrine of Justification Acts 13:39 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This lesson is on the doctrine of justification. Acts 13:39 says, “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
To justify means to prove or show to be just; to pronounce free from guilt or blame. Therefore, for you to be justified you must stand before God at a “judgment” and be declared righteous (just; not guilty) by him. Justification therefore requires a judgment. See how it first appears in the Old Testament. Ex 23:7, God will not justify the wicked; Deut 25:1, God will justify the righteous [these take place at a judgment]. A man cannot justify himself [Job 9:20] and when he does he is an abomination [Lk 16:15]. Therefore, someone else has to do it [Is 53:11; Rom 8:33] and hence the one who justifies determines upon what basis the person will be justified.
The Jews believed a man could be justified by the law. The law was never designed to justify you, rather it was to make you guilty (Rom 3:19). Therefore, the law cannot justify anyone (Rom 3:20; Gal 2:16) nor can it make him righteous. A man seeking justification by the law is not relying upon the ‘grace of God’ for his salvation (Gal 5:4). The law actually puts you under a curse (Gal 3:10-13). Its main function then is not to justify you but to point you to Christ (Gal 3:24). And a person that misses this misses salvation.
God’s basis for justification, therefore, is ‘faith’, not the works of the law (Rom 3:26-28). And we have an example of this faith in the person of Abraham (Rom 4:1-5). Thus, when a man believes in Jesus’ finished work on Calvary, he is justified right then (Rom 3:24-25). Justification is something that takes place NOW (Rom 5:9). You are judged by God as ‘righteous’ and ‘just’. We are declared not guilty for all of our sins and we are justified now (1 Cor 6:9-11) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.