Let’s consider Romans 3:23-26, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

This portion starts by pointing out that we are all sinners and then moves on to let us know that by God’s grace, believers on Him have been justified.  The word ‘justified’ in verse 24 is from the Greek word “dikaióō” which means “to render (i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent:—free, justify(-ier), be righteous.”  We read in Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  It is our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that justifies us or makes us righteous.  The Greek word for justified is also translated ‘righteous’ in several verses.

We see that word in Luke 5:32, “I came not to call the RIGHTEOUS, but sinners to repentance.”

Also in Romans 5:7, “For scarcely for a RIGHTEOUS man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.”  So, we see that being justified is the same as being made righteous.  How precious it is to know that the ‘just’ one has justified believers.  We learn in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (NASB)  The word ‘righteousness’ means to be made just.

Think of the depth and value of the incredible sacrifice of the Lord Jesus for us.  So that we might become righteous (just), He became sin, or the sin-bearer.  How greatly He suffered on the cross for us.  We read in 1 Peter 2:24, “Who (Christ) his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”  We also read in Colossians 1:21-22, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.”  What incredible and humbling truth to consider.  Because of the work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, we have been justified, or made righteous.  Because we are righteous, we are also “holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in his sight.”  We are exhorted in Romans 6:11, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be DEAD UNTO SIN, but ALIVE UNTO GOD through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Justification makes us worthy to be in the presence of God.  We cannot justify ourselves.  It took the ‘just one’ to justify us by dying for us on the cross.  This is positional truth.  We ARE JUSTIFIED.  Perhaps we do not live a life that exhibits the truth that we are righteous.  If so, we need to confess that to the Lord and seek to “live unto righteousness.”  Let us end this devotion on our justification with this final verse, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”  (Isaiah 53:11).  (360.4)