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It is God that Justifieth
Romans 8:33
by Don Fortner

This doctrine of free justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ is the very essence of the gospel. Every other doctrine of justification is declared by the Spirit of God to be a false gospel (Gal. 1:6-7). This is the only ground of solid joy, peace, comfort, and hope there is for sinners before the holy Lord God. If my being just with God depends upon me, or must in some way be determined by me, then I have no hope. But, blessed be God, it is not man that justifieth; "IT IS GOD THAT JUSTIFIETH!'

GOD THE FATHER IS SPECIFICALLY CALLED OUR JUSTIFIER (Rom. 8:33; 3:25-26; Isa. 45:20). He is represented in Scripture as having contrived the scheme and plan of justification from eternity. He found a ransom for us (Job 33:24). He laid help upon One that is mighty to save (Ps. 89:19). He set up his Son as our Mediator, Surety, Representative, and Substitute before the world began (Prov. 8). He accepted us in the Beloved as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:6). It was God the Father who, in the fulness of time, sent his Son into the world to execute his great scheme of grace (Rom. 8:1-4; Gal. 4:4). God the Father accepts and is well pleased with the righteousness wrought out by Christ as our Representative. Once the Lord Jesus had wrought out righteousness for us, once he had magnified the law and made it honorable by both obeying all its precepts and principles and by satisfying all its justice and condemnation, it was our heavenly Father who approved of it and accepted it for us. Our heavenly Father has imputed the righteousness of Christ to his elect (Rom. 4:6; 1 Cor. 1:30). Yet, God the Father could never have justified us without or apart from the obedience and blood of his dear Son as our Substitute; and therefore GOD THE SON IS SAID TO JUSTIFY HIS PEOPLE (Isa. 53:11). The question was asked way back in the Book of Job, probably the oldest book in the Bible."How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?" To that question there is only one answer - CHRIST (Rom. 10:4) Jesus Christ, the Son of God, having fully obeyed and perfectly satisfied the law of God for us is "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS", and we are made "the righteousness of God in him." This is the very language of the Bible (Jer. 23:6; 33:16). As the God-man, our Mediator "He was delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification." He arose from the grave as "The Sun of Righteousness, with healing in his wings!" As our legal, divinely appointed Head and Representative, our dear Savior was himself justified from all sin (the sins of his people imputed to him) and we were and are justified in him (Isa. 45:25; 50:8; 1 Tim. 3:16). THE WORK OF OUR JUSTIFICATION IS ALSO ASCRIBED TO GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT (1 Cor. 6:11). It is the Holy Spirit who convinces chosen, redeemed sinners of sin, of righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11). It is God the Holy Spirit who works faith in us and causes us to look to Christ alone for justification (2 Cor. 4:13; Col. 2:12-13). It is the blessed Spirit of God who speaks peace to our hearts, sprinkles the blood of Christ upon our consciences, and gives us peace with God, even the peace of perfect, full, complete, everlasting justification (Heb. 9:14; 10:22).

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